U.S. states settle with Bayer over vitamin claims

By Reuters
Posted Oct. 26, 2010 at 5:15 p.m.

Attorneys general in Illinois, Oregon and California said on Tuesday that Bayer AG agreed to a $3.3 million settlement over misleading claims that the drug maker’s vitamins reduced men’s risk of prostate cancer.

Under the terms of the settlement, Bayer cannot make claims that its One A Day Men’s multivitamins can prevent or cure prostate cancer or any other disease without scientific evidence, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said in a statement.

“When manufacturers like Bayer make marketing claims with insufficient scientific proof behind them, they are misleading consumers,” she said.

The Illinois lawsuit and the settlement were filed in Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago.

In response to a lawsuit filed last month in San Francisco by a public advocacy group, Bayer said it was revising its packaging and promotional materials that claimed selenium in its men’s vitamins reduced the risk of certain cancers.

Bayer said it had made the claims based on the FDA’s statements allowing use of such promotional language. But earlier this year, the agency changed those guidelines and the company is now updating its materials, it said.

The FDA said in June that it was highly unlikely that selenium supplements reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

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