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When an ad suggests a product can improve your memory in 90 days, you might be tempted to buy it. But, if solid science doesn’t back these claims, forget about it.

The FTC and the New York Attorney General’s Office sued the marketers of Prevagen  for allegedly making false claims that the dietary supplement can improve memory loss and support brain health in older adults. Marketers say Prevagen’s active ingredient — derived from a species of jellyfish — can get rid of excess calcium that builds up in the brain as we age. The TV ads for Prevagen even tout a clinical study and featured dramatic charts.

But according to the FTC, that study actually found that Prevagen didn’t impact brain function as advertised, and the company doesn’t have evidence to back up its claims for memory or other cognitive benefits.

Prevagen’s ongoing and widespread marketing campaign includes national television and radio ads, infomercials on major networks, and ads in magazines, websites and social media. Marketers also promote Prevagen at health food centers and health expos nationwide. As a result, estimated gross revenues for Prevagen are roughly $165 million – the amount the FTC is seeking to return to people who bought the product.

If you remember nothing else, be skeptical about buying a product claiming to do the phenomenal. And report it to the FTC if you pay for a product that promises, but fails, to deliver miraculous results.

22 Comments


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wkb4447
January 09, 2017
Placebo effect - at least a certain percentage using this product may achieve the objectives touted by the advertising. This phenomenon is now becoming a study in itself. Researchers, doctors, and patients can't explain it away. Mind over matter? We'll see...
CharlieP
January 09, 2017
I smell a class action "something". What if there is the usual class action lawsuit, what would be the potential criteria for joining? This company and its affiliates thought "they could fool all the people all the time." Not realizing, "it's done of the people some of the time." Couldn't stop when they were ahead. Now they have to cough up everything to the amount of "roughly $165 million." Ouch!
alshams
January 09, 2017
It is better to learn more in recent ad's that misguide people to differ unknown product/s to earn easy money therefore we must take utmost preventive steps before buying these products.
austintxrocks
January 09, 2017
The saddest thing is seeing this advertisement with an elderly person with memory problems that wants to buy it. Anyone who's cares for memory loss patients, know this produce is false hope. Shame on them.
skeptic
January 11, 2017
Has there been any actual test proofs of their claim?
foggy mountain man
January 13, 2017
Tried this stuff for a couple months and thought it worked but when the price jumped from $29.95 a bottle to $39.95 for same size bottle, I decided to think again. That was 2 to 3months past. Finally I decided the return I received was far less than the price. I really can't say this OTC Item did anything for me at all. I think I was "taken", as my wallet got thinner and I got a headache from Pravegen.
mcjames45
January 14, 2017
I have a family member that almost got taken by a slick advertisement for a pill that would improve her memory function. She's under a doctor's care and has been given a pharmaceutical which has helped a little, but there isn't a cure for age-related dementia. The company had charged her $160 for a 6 months supply. When I asked for a refund, they suggested we keep it for half price. I countered with no, you provide a full refund now and free shipping or I report you to the Federal Trade Commission. They refunded her money.
FTC Commenter
February 06, 2017
There is a local vitamin store chain still selling this. I can provide you with the store name. It is reputable, so I do not think it to be wise to disclose the store information in this comment section. To be fair, it could be possible that they have "not yet received the memo". Should you need this information, I will be more than happy to assist you.
FTC Staff
February 06, 2017

In reply to by FTC Commenter

You can report information to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you provide goes into a secure government database.You can choose whether you want to provide personal or contact information.

Sparky
February 24, 2017

In reply to by FTC Staff

Sending information to FTC seems to be useless as sending to FDA to complain about dietary supplements. FDA says they don't regulate dietary supplements and can't do anything. FTC and FDA should join forces since prevagen contains a new dietary ingredient for which a NDI is required.
RickC59
February 22, 2017
I continue to see advertisements on TV for this product. As late as yesterday. From what I can tell they are still making the same claims.
FTC Staff
February 22, 2017

In reply to by RickC59

You can report this to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give goes into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. The comments you put here on the blog don't go into the law enforcement database.

Barbara Dempsey
August 30, 2017

In reply to by FTC Staff

It didn't work for me. I was disappointed. The only Plus I might see is the Vit. D
STEVE
May 10, 2017
WHY IS THIS STILL BEING ADVERTISED ON TELEVISION??
Marie
May 12, 2017
Since this appears to be another fraudulent and negligent attempt to make money rather than provide a product that actually works, I'm wondering if Prevagen contains anything that is harmful?
rickpnc
October 23, 2017
Glad I checked the internet before I bought this crap. I have never received any noticeable benefit from any supplement I have ever bought, including melatonin.
vitaminguy
February 06, 2018
I'm surprised Sniderman took his attention away from attacking Trump for a minute to look into Prevagin. I knew it was a scam from day one.
Scam news
February 22, 2018
How long can these TV ads go on? lawsuits don't work. Federal government fails.
DogMom
May 05, 2018
I saw an ad tonight (5/5/18) for prevagen & was excited to tell my Dad. Now after reading all these comments I am really disappointed, These ads should not still be on TV!
Cat
May 14, 2018
Why are the TV ads still on? How is the FTC protecting consumers by allowing the ads to still run?
FTC Staff
May 14, 2018

In reply to by Cat

The FTC and the New York Attorney General’s Office sued the marketers of Prevagen  for allegedly making false claims that the dietary supplement can improve memory loss and support brain health in older adults. The case is still in litigation.

  If you pay for a product that promises, but fails, to deliver miraculous results, please report it to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint.

G R Noble
September 27, 2018
Quincy Bioscience must be sued for marketing a product with no proven benefits!!!