The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has taken action against Dr. Dalal A. Akoury and a group of companies she controls that operate as AWAREmed Health & Wellness Resource Center, a medical clinic, for making false or unsupported claims for addiction treatment services, cancer treatment services, and the treatment of other serious conditions.

The FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection Director, Samuel Levine, says doctors peddling false promises should know the FTC will use its strengthened authority from Congress to stop them from exploiting Americans struggling with addiction.

Since at least 2018, the AWAREmed defendants advertised a range of treatments for patients suffering from addiction including substance use disorders from opioids to alcohol, as well as cancer and chronic diseases like Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. The FTC alleges the defendants described their clinic as the “Most Effective Medical Clinic Anywhere,” and claimed that it “Boasts a 98% Improvement Rate…Treating Just About…Anything,” including addictions to methadone and other drugs, alcohol, food, and gambling.

Despite being warned by the FTC that making unsupported addiction treatment claims is unlawful, the defendants continued to claim without evidence that their treatment was “rapid, painless, effective, and safe,” and had better results in less time than 30-day treatment programs. The FTC alleges that Dr. Akoury appeared in nearly 100 brief TV segments promoting AWAREmed, some of which were paid ads placed by Dr. Akoury.

The proposed court order prohibits the defendants from violating the FTC Act and Opioid Addiction Recovery Fraud Prevention Act (OARFPA), bars them from making deceptive health claims, requires them to have competent and reliable scientific evidence for any health-related claims they make in advertising and marketing, and prohibits them from formatting ads in a way that may be interpreted as news or informational programming. The proposed settlement also requires them to pay a $100,000 civil penalty.

The DOJ filed the complaint and order on behalf of the FTC in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. The Commission vote authorizing the staff to file the complaint and proposed order was 4-0.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/EditorEditor-in-Chief

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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