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In most countries there are official government bodies that work to ensure that drugs available over the counter and on prescription meet certain safety standards and that the medical claims made by the manufacturers are reasonable and accurate. However, there are some companies and individuals who may make false advertising claims for their products and sell products that do not deliver the results a consumer may reasonably expect after reading the advertising information.

In most countries there are laws against false advertising. In the USA there are three federal agencies that are involved in monitoring drug and health product sales, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and the United States Postal Service (USPS). You can report individuals and companies making false claims for their products to one or more of these agencies.

The FDA is the most important agency for providing consumer protection against dangerous or quack health products. It controls the content and labeling of all foods, drugs, medical devices, and cosmetic products. The FDA is constantly reviewing claims made for medical products including quack baldness cures. If you suspect a quack or dangerous product is being manufactured and distributed in the USA or is being imported to the USA you can notify the FDA who may investigate and take legal action where required. The local FDA offices should be listed in the phone book under the Department of Health and Human Services section. FDA central office can be contacted at; FDA Headquarters, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland 20857. The FDA is online at; http://www.fda.gov and the Center for drug evaluation and research (CDER) is available at; http://www.fda.gov/cder/

The FTC regulates the advertising and marketing industry and ensures that claims made in advertisements are true and do not mislead the consumer. Any claims made for a medical product that turn out to be false or any deception by individuals can be reported to the FTC. The FTC can investigate and take legal action including federal court injunctions to block further false advertising. The FTC can be contacted at; Correspondence Branch, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, D.C. 20580. The FTC is online at http://www.ftc.gov

Occasionally, it may be appropriate to contact the USPS. If a quack product is advertised using material sent through the USPS mail system or if the product itself is sent by USPS mail then the USPS can investigate and may take legal action. Unfortunately it is easy for quacks to get around this danger by simply sending their product using a private carrier (UPS, FEDEX, etc.). The laws on sending false advertising through the mail does not cover private postal carriers. If you find a product that is only shipped by private carrier and the supplier refuses to send it via USPS then this may be an important clue to consumers about the claims made for the product. The USPS can be contacted at; Chief Postal Inspector, United States Postal Service, Washington, D.C. 20260-2112. The USPS is online at; http://www.usps.gov

USA residents might also consider contacting their state Attorney General's office or a local consumer bureau. The Better Business Bureau may also be contacted if the company or individual is a member. The BBB can be contacted at; Council of Better Business Bureaus, 4200 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22203. The BBB is online at http://www.bbb.com