FTC Files Complaint Against Pain-Relief Bracelet Marketers 37258

June 23, 2003

2 Min Read
FTC Files Complaint Against Pain-Relief Bracelet Marketers


FTC Files Complaint Against Pain-Relief Bracelet Marketers

WASHINGTON--The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) chargedmarketers of the Q-Ray Ionized Bracelet with making false and unsubstantiatedclaims in a complaint filed May 27 in the U.S. District Court for the NorthernDistrict of Illinois, Eastern Division. In its complaint, FTC alleged QT Inc.,Q-Ray Co. and Bio-Metal Inc.--all based in Elk Grove Village, Ill.--and theirprincipals, Que Te Park and Jung Joo Park, broke the law by claiming the Q-RayBracelet is a fast-acting, effective treatment for pain from variousafflictions, including musculoskeletal pain, sciatica, headaches, tendonitis andinjuries. FTC is seeking preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, includingredress, to consumers who purchased the Q-Ray Bracelet.

In its complaint, FTC alleged the defendants' claims that the Q-Ray Braceletrelieves pain were unsubstantiated. The defendants claimed in infomercials andon Web sites (www.qray.com, www.q-ray.com,www.bio-ray.com) that the C-shaped metalbracelet is "ionized" through a proprietary process that endows themetal with pain-relieving abilities and that it works by altering the body'spositive and negative energy. In opposition to this claim, FTC cited a doubleblind, placebo-controlled study conducted at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville,Fla., that showed the Q-Ray Bracelet was no more effective than placebo forrelieving muscular and joint pain (Mayo Clin Proc, 77, 11:1164-8, 2002).The study involved 610 participants, with half wearing a Q-Ray Bracelet and halfwearing a placebo bracelet. After four weeks, both groups reported a significantimprovement in pain, although researchers stated there were no differencesbetween the treatment and placebo groups. Another study out of Wayne StateUniversity in Detroit indicated that as a result of a profound placebo effect,the Q-Ray ionized bracelet was not superior to placebo for patients withmusculoskeletal pain (J Fam Pract, 52, 3:194-5, 2003). However,researchers stated many patients may experience less pain if they use thebracelet because a perception that the treatment will work profoundly improvesits efficacy.

FTC's complaint also noted many consumers given a 30-day, money-backguarantee were unable to obtain refunds for the purchase price of the bracelet,which ranged from $49.95 to $249.95, despite numerous attempts to contact themanufacturer. Additionally, some purchasers who viewed the infomercial andordered the Q-Ray Bracelet online were not offered this 30-day satisfactionguarantee.

A federal district court has issued a temporary restraining order against thedefendants prohibiting them from making any misleading or deceptive claims aboutthe Q-Ray Bracelet and freezing their assets.

QT Inc. did not return a call for comment by press time.

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