Class Action Over Walgreens Supplement Survives

Walgreens Co. won a partial victory recently in New York Federal Court when the Judge dismissed warranty claims regarding its glucosamine supplements. However, the remainder of the claims in the putative class action alleging false marketing of the cartilage rebuilding powers of the product survived. The plaintiffs allege that it is scientifically impossible to rebuild cartilage as the Walgreens’ products claim. If class certification is granted, a critical issue will be whether two scientific studies suggesting that glucosamine might affect cartilage growth or deterioration are reliable. There is a previously filed putative class action against Walgreens pending in Illinois over similar claims. 

Manufacturers and distributors alike must comprehensively analyze whether there is reliable science to support claims made in advertisements. Utilizing appropriate experts and counsel to analyze the science in conjunction with the proposed advertisement is paramount to avoiding class action litigation over false or deceptive advertising.


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