MHRA warns arthritis sufferers about buying unlicensed arthritis treatment

The MHRA issued a warning last week about that notorious herbal scam, Arthroplex. You’ve probably already seen this news on the 21st Floor, in the Nursing Times or perhaps on the Huffington Post site. Maybe you’ve seen it somewhere else – it has certainly been widely reported.

Yet strangely, this person hasn’t…

I am astonished by the fact that none of the people complaining about this product seem to have tried taking it. More fool them! I have started a one month’s trial and after five days it seems to be doing everything that is claimed for it. If, after a month’s trial it does not work I can get my money back under the guarantee. Let the critics continue to suffer from arthritis pain. I am delighted to be pain free. I understand that the delay in delivery has been caused by thousands of users placing substantial orders afterf they have tried it for a month.

If like him, you’ve somehow found my blog without having seen any of those news reports, then please allow me to share the contents of that press release

Thousands of people with arthritis were warned by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) not to buy a potentially-dangerous unlicensed and unproven medicine for arthritis and other medical conditions which can be sold for as much as £168.00 for a 12-month’s supply.

Arthroplex capsules and gel are being advertised illegally on the internet and through flyers in magazines claiming to relieve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and joint pain. This product is unlicensed meaning it has not undergone any testing for quality, safety and effectiveness so it could pose a serious health risk to people who use it.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and the MHRA received over 70 complaints about the advertising of the medicine that claims to “Feel your aches and pains fade in 48 hours! And then disappear forever”. The ASA adjudication on Arthroplex may be viewed here.

David Carter, Manager of the MHRA’s Medicines Borderline Section, said:

Adverts like Arthroplex make attractive claims but the fact is just because products are described as natural it does not mean to say that they are safe. If you believe you are suffering from any of the medical conditions listed in the advertisements please seek proper medical advice.

When buying a herbal medicine people are advised to look for products that display the Traditional Herbal Registration (THR) logo or a PL/THR number. These products have been assessed by the MHRA so that consumers can be confident that their quality can be assured and that they contain relevant information for consumers about how to use the product safely.

If anyone has bought or used any of this product or have any concerns then please speak to your GP or healthcare professional.

Professor Alan Silman, Medical Director of Arthritis Research UK, said:

Supplements are widely used by people with arthritis as they seek to find effective pain relief or avoid taking potentially harmful drugs, and a small number can offer some relief. Often people prefer the sound of natural products. However, natural does not mean they are either safe – or effective. Some manufacturers often go to great lengths to play on people’s hopes with outrageous claims, optimistic testimonials and even pseudo-science to promise the impossible.

People should be wary of unproven products bought online or from mail order, and need evidence-based, non-biased information which charities such as ours can provide, to help them make informed decisions.

You can report anyone selling or advertising Arthroplex anonymously to the MHRA on 020 3080 6000.

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