BBB National Programs Archive
Bioneurix Participates In ERSP Forum
New York, NY – March 10, 2009 – The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) has determined that Bioneurix Corporation, which markets the Amoryn Dietary Supplement, has provided a reasonable basis for general performance claims, as well as establishment claims of effective treatment for mild to moderate depression. However, ERSP determined that the evidence presented by the marketer did not support claims that the product is effective for “severe” depression and anxiety. The marketer’s advertising came to ERSP’s attention pursuant to its ongoing monitoring efforts.
ERSP, the electronic direct-response industry’s self-regulatory forum, is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) with policy oversight by the National Advertising Review Council (NARC).
ERSP’s inquiry focused on claims included in online advertising. Claims at issue in the ERSP inquiry included:
- “The primary ingredient in AMORYN, hyperforin, is an effective treatment for depression and anxiety.”
- “The main ingredient in AMORYN, hyperforin, is clinically proven to relieve both mild and severe depression and anxiety.”
- AMORYN works by increasing the levels of all four of the brain’s “feel good” neurotransmitters. By providing an all-natural boost to serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and GABA, the ingredients in AMORYN can help you feel happy, calm, and confident.”
- “Over 20,000 people in the United States and worldwide have successfully used AMORYN to help them lead happier, healthier lives.”
- “The overwhelming majority of users rate AMORYN as more effective than either prescription antidepressant drugs or St. John’s Wort supplements. Of people who have taken both AMORYN and St. John’s Wort products, 76% rate AMORYN as superior while only 5% prefer other brands. And compared to antidepressant medications, 54% report that AMORYN is more effective versus only 19% who say prescription drugs are better.”
- “My psychiatrist has tried a variety of drugs… but to no avail… I ordered AMORYN and, within a week, I truly started feeling better… A month ago, most of my days were spent mentally composing suicide letters, and now, those thoughts are gone and I’m able to enjoy those six beautiful grandchildren… Thank you for this miracle medicine.” [Fran H, Michigan]
ERSP determined that the marketer’s evidence provided a reasonable basis for its general performance claims, as well as “clinically proven” claims that the product is an effective treatment for “mild to moderate depression”.
However, ERSP did not agree that the marketer provided sufficient evidence to support claims that the product’s main ingredient has been “clinically proven” to relieve “severe” depression and anxiety.
ERSP determined that the marketer appropriately communicated the results of its informal consumer ratings survey and that the marketer’s internal data provided a reasonable basis for the claim that “Over 20,000 people in the United States and worldwide have successfully used AMORYN to help them lead happier, healthier lives”.
ERSP noted that the marketer voluntarily took action to clarify the limitations of a consumer testimonial at issue by adding language to indicate the time period in which a typical consumer will experience relief.
The company, in its advertiser’s statement said it would take ERSP’s findings into consideration.
The company noted that it has “already taken the necessary steps to change some wording on its website” and “The Amoryn website (www.amoryn.com) should now be in accordance with NARC/ERSP regulations and this report’s findings