Missourians who bought a “natural progesterone” cream falsely marketed as being approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and clinically proven to be safe may be eligible to get their money back. Attorney General Jay Nixon obtained a court-approved agreement today with the product distributor, Gateway Distributors, and Gateway President Richard Bailey requiring them to pay full restitution to consumers who have filed complaints or file them in the next 180 days. Gateway is based in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Nixon and the attorneys general of 19 other states and the District of Columbia reached settlements with Gateway to resolve allegations that the defendants promoted, sold and distributed topically applied hormone-containing cream products that could not be lawfully offered or sold in the U.S. The creams were sold under the names “Y Motion Progesterone Cream” and “Miracle Brand Progesterone Cream,” and typically sold for $20-$30. The natural progesterone cream did not have the prior approval of the FDA, was not clinically tested for safety and was not proven to cure, treat or prevent certain diseases and conditions such as osteoporosis, pre-menstrual syndrome and depression as claimed by the defendants.
Nixon also alleged that the defendants engaged in misleading practices to induce consumers to purchase their product, such as mailing “Medical Recall Notices.” These notices were mailed directly to consumers and warned them that their health was at risk due to the use of prescription estrogen or progestin that the defendants falsely maintained had been recalled or withdrawn from the market. Such recall notices, Nixon alleges, were really advertisements for the defendants’ product.
“The claims made by the producers of this product that is was safer and more effective than traditional prescription hormone replacement therapies were patently false,” Nixon said. “I am pleased that, along with the other states, we could reach this agreement that will allow Missouri consumers to receive some money back that they spent due to some misleading and untruthful advertising.”
Under the terms of the agreement, the defendants must provide full restitution to Missouri consumers who complained or who file complaints within 180 days of the settlement. The defendants also will pay a civil penalty of $100,000 divided up between the19 states and District of Columbia.
Missourians who believe they are eligible are encouraged to contact the Attorney General’s Office to make restitution claims by going online to www.ago.mo.gov, filling out and submitting a consumer complaint form under the name “The Right Solution.” All complaints must be received by December 4, 2006.