ASA rejects ad for pain-reducing CBD patch as ‘unlicensed product making medicinal claims’

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

©EasyLife Group ltd
©EasyLife Group ltd

Related tags: Asa, Cbd, patch

The UK’s advertising watchdog has dismissed claims made by a retailer stating its cannabidiol (CBD) pain relief patch could reduce chronic pain, anxiety and diabetes, pointing out the claims were medicinal.

In its ruling, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) agreed with a complaint that accused The Times newspaper advertisement of making made medicinal claims for an unlicensed product.

In responding to the upheld decision, Easylife Group Ltd, makers of the CBD Miracle Pain Patch said they would not run the insert again in its current form and would seek guidance before doing so, adding it was never their intention to mislead consumers.

The ruling refers to the advertisement seen in the newspaper dated 28 September 2019 in which Easylife Group Ltd (trading as Positive Health) used a brochure format included as an insert.

Offending text

The text on the front page stated: “Apply it… and Forget About Your Pain! CBD Miracle Pain Patch! The NEW CBD Miracle Patch Reduces: Chronic Pain Anxiety Depression Insomnia Diabetes Poor Memory Heart Problems High Blood Sugar and Much More …”.

Further text stated: “The Miracle Pain Patch … gives you complete, fast-acting pain relief for your whole body […] organic CBD designed to penetrate quickly through your skin … Yet is it 100% safe and non-habit forming”.

More copy inside the brochure read, “Say goodbye to ALL types of pain with the Miracle Pain Patch! Migraine pain, Back pain Nerve damage Fibromyalgia Joint pain Diabetic nerve pain Muscle aches With the Miracle Pain Patch, you WILL feel like a new person”.

ASA’s assessment points out medicinal claims and indications are made only for a medicinal product licensed by the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) or supported by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Consumer interpretation

The ASA considers that in the advertisement’s context as a whole, means consumers are likely to interpret the claims, “say goodbye to all types of pain with the miracle pain patch”​ with a list of ailments such as “migraine pain, back pain, nerve damage, fibromyalgia, depression and diabetic nerve pain”​ amongst several other conditions, as a claim to treat those conditions.

The ad also states that the product was “designed to penetrate quickly through your skin” – ​a medicinal claim that requires the product be licensed as a medicine.

“However, we understood that the product did not have the relevant marketing authorisation from the MHRA.”​ ASA says. “Because of that no medicinal claims could be made for the product.

“Because the advertisement made medicinal claims for a product which was not licensed we concluded that the ad breached the Code.”

“The ad must not appear again in its current form,” ​ASA concludes. “We told Easylife Group Ltd t/a Positive Health to ensure that future ads did not make medicinal claims for unlicensed products.”

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