Michael H. Cohen: Online Health Services and Products

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Hello, I’m Michael H. Cohen, principal of The Cohen Healthcare Law Group in Beverly Hills, California. If you have a website and you’re offering any type of healthcare information, products, or services, there are at least two things you need to concern yourself with.

One, is the FDA.

Two, is the Federal Trade Commission.

I’ll talk about these in a little bit more detail.

First the FDA. If you’re offering any type of dietary supplement, you need to make sure that the information you provide on the website is consistent with FDA rules. One of the FDA rules that people are sometimes not aware of, is that information on the website can potentially be considered part of the label. Therefore, you have to be careful not to make disease claims for dietary supplements. Dietary supplements can make claims about structure and function, including well-being, but they cannot make medical claims. This is a very nuanced area, and it’s important to get legal review of all your marketing materials, including your website to make sure that they’re compliant.

The second area, is FTC compliance. The FTC, or Federal Trade Commission, insures that websites and other marketing materials are not false and misleading. The FTC goes after advertising that is false, deceptive, or misleading to the consumer. And so the FTC requires that you have substantiation for your healthcare information, products, and services. And if these products are dietary supplement products, then you have to have competent and reliable scientific evidence backing up your claims

Once again, we strongly advise legal review of your marketing materials, to be sure that you’re as bullet proof as possible against the FTC as well as the FDA.

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