Skeptic News: MHRA Unlicensed Arthritis Treatment warning

Thousands of people with arthritis were today 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 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.” 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.”

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