In June 2014, we told you about some misleading claims (see story) made for CVS Advanced Eye Health vitamins, a product which purchasers might mistake for being just like Bausch + Lomb’s PreserVision — a vitamin proven to slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Last week, CVS was sued in a California court by two men with AMD alleging the very things that we did.
In short, Bausch + Lomb’s PreserVision’s formula of six vitamins and minerals was tested (the AREDS2 tests) by the federal government and was shown to be effective in treating AMD which can lead to blindness. The CVS’ Eye Health product, typically located right next to PreserVision in its stores, and seemingly half the price, proclaims that it is comparable to the formula in AREDS2 studies. In fact, it only has two of the six proven ingredients. (Again, please see original story for a more detailed explanation.)
Unlike other false advertising issues, this one has serious health ramifications for anyone who didn’t compare the ingredients lists of the two products side by side. They could well be taking the CVS product thinking that it will slow their progression to blindness, when it probably has little or no effect.
At the time we reported the story originally in June 2014, CVS said they were in the process of removing the comparability claim from their packaging. But last week, they told the Consumerist that “CVS/pharmacy removed this statement from the product once the results of the AREDS2 study were released.”
Really? The results of the AREDS2 test were made public on April 11, 2013. So, it is inexplicable that a friend saw the CVS product with the same comparability claim still at a CVS store just last week.
[A previous version of this story showed a photograph of a revised box of CVS Eye Health without any comparability claims on the front. As it turns out, CVS now uses “Eye Health” as the name for its store brand version of Ocuvite, rather than for PreserVision… making it even more confusing for consumers.]