The popular herbal cold remedy Cold-FX is no better than a placebo a treating colds, and the manufacturer has known that for more than a decade, alleges a lawsuit before the B.C. Supreme Court.
Lawyer John Green filed the suit against Cold-FX maker Valeant in B.C. in 2012, as well as another in Saskatchewan, where provincial statutes would allow the lawsuit to become a nationwide class-action.
“A big pharmaceutical company sells a product that claims it does something when it doesn’t. That’s what this case is about,” Green alleged in an interview with Global News.
“The research just doesn’t support what they say the product does.”
Green has presented documents he says show Afexa Life Sciences, the company that sold Cold-FX to Valeant in 2011, knew as far back as 2004 that Cold-FX was no better than a placebo.
Dr. Gerry Predy, now a senior officer of health for the Alberta government, carried out a study of Cold-FX in 2004. The part of the study that indicated whether or not the drug works for short-term cold relief was never released, the National Post reports.
Hockey broadcasting legend Don Cherry is among the recognizable names who have promoted Cold-FX. This screencap was taken from the Cold-FX site Feb. 1, 2016.
Drugmakers are not required to release study results like these under Canadian law.
“If it had been disclosed, it would probably have been the end of Afexa Life Sciences,” Green told the National Post.
Health Canada has approved Cold-FX to make a number of claims, including that it “helps reduce the frequency, severity and duration of cold and flu symptoms by boosting the immune system.”
The agency lists Panax quinquefolius, or American ginseng, as Cold-FX’s only medicinal ingredient.
Green said he’d like to see an eventual class-action lawsuit cover every box of Cold-FX ever sold, potentially meaning anyone in Canada who can prove having purchased it could have money owed them, if the lawsuit is successful.
But in an interview with the Globe and Mail last November, Valeant’s VP of medical and regulatory affairs said the drug has to be used “chronically” for a minimum of eight weeks.
“We cannot argue that Cold-FX can be used to treat symptoms that are already there,” said Maxime Barakat. “We recommend a chronic usage.”
Cold-FX’s packaging makes no mention of how long the drug has to be taken to be effective, the Globe noted.
“Even if you are not a regular tea drinker, try sipping on a cup or two daily during cold and flu season,” said Jenna Gagnon, the communications specialist for Aidance Skincare. “Steam from tea stimulates cilia, which are those little hairs inside your nose. Think about cilia as the air filter of nose; keep the cilia healthy and abundant to keep germs from making you sick.” Photo Credit: Shutterstock Click Here to See Surprising Ways to Prevent the Cold and Flu
“We all think of vitamin C as the immune booster, but recent research has shown that vitamin D greatly effects the immune system,” said Dr. Scott M. Schreiber, a chiropractic physician, certified nutrition specialist and Delaware’s only board certified rehabilitation specialist. “[Vitamin D] has been shown to elevate that activity of immune cells.” Meanwhile, he said, a deficiency of vitamin D has been linked to the occurrence of autoimmune diseases.” Photo Credit: Shutterstock
“Exposing yourself to dirt (and microorganisms) can have a long-lasting impact on your immune system,” Schreiber said. “As a society, we fear getting dirty, when in fact, [studies have shown] it is extremely beneficial.” Believe it or not, he added, those mud runs are good for you. Photo Credit: Shutterstock Click Here to See Surprising Ways to Prevent the Cold and Flu
“As part of overall good health habits, it's important to maintain good hydration, regardless of the season,” said Medical Director at Cassena Care Dr. Joel Blass. “In colder weather, the body's metabolism revs up and you tend to exhale more moisture than usual—it’s important to replenish those fluids. In winter, losing fluids tends to dry your mucous membranes, weakening that first level of defense, which in turn makes you more susceptible to contracting cold and flu viruses.” Photo Credit: Shutterstock
“It is always a good idea to dress appropriately for the seasons. Fashion aside, there is a health benefit to keeping warm in cold weather,” Blass said. “Cold weather stresses the immune system, and so, while the term ‘catching a cold’ may be a misnomer…a weakened immune system can make you more susceptible to those viruses. Also, for some people, cooler weather means more runny noses. Wiping your nose raises your exposure to cold and flu viruses, and with that, your chances of contracting those illnesses.” Click Here to See Surprising Ways to Prevent the Cold and Flu Photo Credit: Shutterstock