What Does 'Clinically Proven' Actually Mean? | Summary and Q&A

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October 3, 2017
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What Does 'Clinically Proven' Actually Mean?

TL;DR

"Clinically proven" is a catchphrase used to promote products, but it often lacks specific meaning and may not have been tested in clinical trials.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What does the phrase "clinically proven" usually imply?

"Clinically proven" suggests that a product has been extensively tested in trials with human participants, showing measurable improvements compared to a control group.

Q: Are all products labeled as "clinically proven" actually backed by solid evidence?

No, not all products claiming to be clinically proven have undergone rigorous clinical trials or have studies supporting their claims. Some companies may misuse the term to enhance sales.

Q: What are the roles of the FDA and FTC in regulating "clinically proven" claims?

The FDA ensures the safety and accuracy of labels on food, drugs, and cosmetics. While drugs require rigorous approval, most cosmetics do not. The FTC monitors deceptive advertising practices, including claims that lack substantial evidence.

Q: Can companies face consequences for misleading "clinically proven" claims?

Yes, the FTC can fine companies that make unsubstantiated "clinically proven" claims. However, enforcement may take time, allowing companies to make false claims before getting caught.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The phrase "clinically proven" is often used to imply that a product has been tested and shown to work in multiple trials with human beings.

  • However, many products that claim to be clinically proven may not have been tested in any kind of clinical trial or the studies conducted may have been flawed.

  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the U.S. regulate the use of "clinically proven" claims, but enforcement is limited and can take time.

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