CFI Cheers FDA Action Against Deceptive ‘Vaginal Rejuvenation’ Marketers


For Immediate Release: July 31, 2018
Contact: Paul Fidalgo, Communications Director
press@centerforinquiry.org - (207) 358-9785

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The Center for Inquiry applauded the actions taken by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to stop the deceptive marketing of pseudoscientific “vaginal rejuvenation” products. On Monday, the FDA published a Safety Communication warning the public that radio-based “vaginal rejuvenation” products are not proven safe or effective. Rather than improving patient health, these products may cause harm, including “vaginal burns, scarring, pain during sexual intercourse, and recurring/chronic pain.”

In addition, the FDA sent letters to seven marketing companies demanding information about the companies’ unproven health claims about these products. Though approved for sale by the FDA, the agency notes that companies marketed the devices for a wide variety of treatments that have no association with the ailments for which they were approved. In some cases, these products were marketed to survivors of breast cancer.

“While there’s reason to find the health claims of these products laughable, deceiving consumers about health treatments is incredibly serious, posing a genuine risk for people who need real medical care,” said Jason Lemieux, CFI’s Director of Government Affairs. “They endanger patient health and safety with products that have not been proven safe or effective. They waste consumers’ money to the tune of some $3 billion a year. Cruelly, the marketers of these products offer false hope to people who just want relief.”

Last month the Center for Inquiry filed a lawsuit against CVS Pharmacy, the nation’s largest pharmaceutical retailer, for fraud over their marketing of homeopathic products as medicine in the District of Columbia. Homeopathic products are based on a disproven 18th-century theory that toxic substances transfer healing properties in infinitesimal dilutions of water.

“The FDA has a duty and responsibility to protect Americans from bogus, pseudoscientific products making unproven medical claims,” said Nick Little, CFI’s Vice President and General Counsel. “The agency exists to protect customers from these kind of manipulative practices. Shining a spotlight on the deceptive claims of these companies is a step in the right direction, and we’re glad to see the FDA take this seriously.”

While applauding this action, Center for Inquiry stresses the need for the FDA to remain vigilant. “The FDA must stay on top of this issue and not let these marketers of snake oil fade into the woodwork,” said Lemieux. “If these companies respond with anything less than prompt, full cooperation, they should face immediate enforcement action.”

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The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization headquartered in Amherst, New York, with executive offices in Washington, D.C. It is also home to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and the Council for Secular Humanism. The Center for Inquiry strives to foster a secular society based on reason, science, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. Visit CFI on the web at centerforinquiry.org.