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Prevagen News: Claims On Improving Memory Not Backed Up By Science, FTC Says

Update Date: Jan 11, 2017 08:30 AM EST
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Prevagen is preying on the fears of consumers about age-related memory loss, says FTC. (Photo : Dave Reginek/Getty Images)

Prevagen is a pill that says it can help with age-related memory loss in 90 days. However, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and New York's attorney general say the claims are deceptive.

The capsule, reportedly made from a jellyfish that contains a protein called apoaequorin, is widely adevertised on television and cable networks. Jessica Rich, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, said that Prevagen is preying on the fears of consumers about age-related memory loss. However, they are not backed up by science, according to Rich.

Quincy Bioscience, marketer of Prevagen, disagrees with the allegations made by the commissioners of FTC. They are fighting back saying that the regulators are extinguishing innovations made by small businesses like them.

The FTC is looking on a study titled "Madison Memory Study" in 2016 which is sponsored by Prevagen's marketer. The double-blind, placebo-controlled study has 218 participants taking either Prevagen 10 mg or placebo. The agency claims that the data do not provide reliable evidence on the efficacy of the pill as there was no statistically significant improvement in the treatment group compared to the placebo group.

The charges also state that Prevagen does not have studies to prove that apoaequorin can cross the human blood brain barrier. However, Quincy Bioscience said that it is not the role of the FTC to engage in scientific debate. Prevagen is also marketed as a supplement.

The lawsuit filed against Prevagen is seeking a refund for consumers who brought the pill which costs from $40 to $90 per bottle. It is sold in major pharmacies and retailers such as Amazon, CVS, Vitamin Shoppe and Walgreens. Sales of Prevagen from 2007 to 2015 has already totalled to $165 million.

The Alzheimer's Association does not want to zero in on Prevagen but science officer Maria Carillo said that there is no product in the market that has been proven to help memory. She added that dietary supplements can even have serious complications with prescribed medicines.

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