Why is the Center for Inquiry suing CVS?

Why is the Center for Inquiry suing CVS?

You know how some of the medicines you
see in drugstores are sometimes labeled as homeopathic? You might have heard
somewhere that homeopathy is a “natural” way to treat things like colds, the flu
aches and pains, sleeplessness and a million other things. Let’s just get this
out of the way right now, homeopathy is bunk. It’s based on a bizarre idea from
the 1700s that water molecules have memory, in which dangerous substances are
diluted so much that the ingredients literally aren’t there anymore. It
doesn’t work. It can’t work. It’s fake medicine. And this is important, drug
retailers they know this, but they sell this stuff anyway. This is why the Center
for inquiry, that’s us, is suing CVS the largest drug retailer in the country, for
fraud. Yeah that’s right, fraud! Here’s why: CVS is marketing and selling useless
homeopathic products right alongside real evidence-based medicine under
sections labeled “cold and flu” or “sleep aids” or what have you. On CVS’s website
homeopathic treatments are nested right along with real science-based
FDA-approved medicines. For consumers, there’s nothing to distinguish the fake
medicine from the real thing because their pharmacy, CVS, has lumped them all together.
This needs to stop. CVS is exploiting people’s fears about chemicals and side
effects while using their reputation as a major pharmacy to trick people into
buying untested, ineffective fantasy products. It’s time to put a stop to the
deception and give people the facts, that’s exactly what we’re going to do.
To learn more about the Center for inquiry and our case against CVS go to

100 Replies to “Why is the Center for Inquiry suing CVS?”

  1. There is traditional Chinese medicine in China, which is also bunk. But there is no organization like center for inquire which can sue TCM. So sad.

  2. It sucks when you have to keep your mouth shut to preserve friendships with people who believe in homeopathy.

  3. If homeopathy were remotely true, then the extremely diluted chlorinated water we drink from our home taps would kill everyone.

  4. It's up to the public to do their own homework. But there will always be stupid people that listen to nonsense like homeopathy. PT Barnum was right.

  5. Whoa, they sell homeopathy next to actual medicine in the US? thats madness. Here in NL you can buy homeopathy stuff to, but its usually in its own isle. The Placebo Isle i like to call it.

  6. God, wtf is wrong with America? It's bad enough that your health care system is overpriced GARBAGE that routinely bankrupts its patients, but now your major pharmacies are selling water as a cure? Sure, placebo effect might effect something, but this is just egregious. Here's hoping you get your shit together sometime soon!

  7. The most pronounced side-effect of homeopathic medicine includes: DISEASE NOT GETTING TREATED AT ALL IN THE FIRST PLACE

  8. My family has a health food store, and we sell homeopathic medicine. While, of course, it has no medicinal value, the selling of it in certain circumstances is not always fraud.

    There are certain people that come in our store that are absolutely convinced that big pharma is out to get them, and you know what, they are not entirely wrong. In any case, whatever the truth is, I am not going to convince them of anything. So, they are taking a placebo that they are entirely convinced works, and I think it is not generally my place to erode their belief in their placebo; at least it does them no harm… except…

    Of course, there is always the possibility that they are taking homeopathic tablets in the place of something else that would actually help them. If I think this is the case, and, this is the kicker, there is some non-zero chance of me convincing them of the ineffectiveness of homeopathy as medicine, I will try to do so. If that is not the case, I have no problem selling them their placebo.

    My sister, a doctor of internal medicine, has told me in no uncertain terms that not only am I not trained to "prescribe" a placebo and I should not do so, but that it is also not my place (as an untrained lay person) to try to remove their belief in their placebo if a doctor has prescribed it. Yes, some doctors prescribe placebos, and this (very rarely !) includes homeopathic tablets; if they prescribe it as medicine, they are a quack.

  9. Excellent. I maintain that fraud is the most ubiquitous crime about, today. Forget shoplifting and parking fines – fraudsters (of whom, homeopaths are only one tribe) are career criminals, doing what they do perpetually, and with a prevailing feeling of impunity. It costs vast sums of money, people's health, and even lives. If they won't stop of their own accord, they must be nudged, shoved, and compelled.

  10. I'm happy. I bought melatonin not realising it was homeopathic. If I remember correctly, it was labelled 5mg on the front but on the back it was labelled as 6X, meaning diluted 1/1,000,000

  11. that's capitalism folks, profit however you can, even if it means fucking up poor people making them pay for useless shit

  12. Please do the same here in Germany or EU! I hate all the bs that is sold in pharmacies. They also sell Grander water and other bs.

  13. There is no place for voodoo in a modern, technologically-advanced society. I hope the lawsuit damages awarded are in the billions.

  14. the joke is
    that the inventor of the stuff knew it had no active ingredients
    and wanted to make fun of "actual medicine" – showing it is fake too
    (medicine doesnt tackle the root cause most of the time, it just addresses symptoms caused by lifestyle factors ([email protected] cholesterol) most of the time..except of course: surgery)
    and now ppl hate its product for the exact thing it was supposed to show to ppl
    what a twisted world this is haha

  15. The irony is that often enough fake medicine do work and as a result even highly educated people believe in it.

  16. Please come to Canada and do the same. Shoppers Drugmart is owned by Loblaws and they do the exact same thing, home made style "remedies" that do nothing sold alongside real medicines.

  17. I don't really agree.
    Homeopathy to me is a fake medicine to treat fake diseases from hypochondrial people. It's placebo, many people that just "feels" sick can feel better with it, just because they THINK that they took medicine.
    My 2 cents 🙂

  18. Thank you for doing this!! Even if the lawsuit fails (which it might, because Murica), hopefully our country will wake up to this problem.

  19. Homeopathy packaged neatly and sold next to real medicine is merely the snake oil of the 21st century. It should only be sold and packaged as "placebo", and nothing more.

  20. Still, "Placebo Strong" works better than "Placebo Basic", sure it costs more, but it's also more effective. Everyone will tell that! Maybe tests will not show that, maybe, but what do they know! People feel the change, and that's what matters!

  21. That won't work. If everything which doesn't work, would be removed from the showroom of a pharmacy, it would be empty except of handkerchiefs, condoms and aspirin. There are no remedies against flu or coughing, for example.

  22. Finally someone is doing something about this garbage! It's bothered me for years that drugstores, even here in Canada where we're more sensible about things than the USA, sell this tasteless candy as medication based off of a legal loophole. I've been hoping the Order of Pharmacists would do something about it, but for some reason they never have. Too big a fight, is my guess.
    I've only ever seen one slightly-legitimate use for that quackery. A woman came in with a tiny infant who had a cough and wanted to buy syrup for it. It was too young, syrup would've been harmful. The pharmacist saw the look in her eyes when he said not to give the baby syrup and knew as soon as he had his back turned she's grab the nearest bottle and kill her baby at home with it. So he sold her homeopathic cough syrup. It's got no medication or medicinal substances in it so it's as safe as tap water with a little honey mixed in, because that's basically what it is.
    It's still overpriced garbage and that one single rare case doesn't justify people being bilked by charlatans. I hope you win and take this fight global. Scammers of all stripes need to be punished.

  23. As much as i agree, the net benefit of a highly effective placebo outweighs the danger and risk. It is of course annoying as hell that people profit from it, but if the well being of humans is the goal, overall homeopathy is a good thing.

  24. Homeopathy is bullshit , no doubt. But you made 2 conflicting claims. You said it is nothing more than purified water, and then said it is untested. I submit that purified water is the most tested substance by humans in the known universe.

  25. Really? This is the battle you're choosing to fight?
    Seems pretty immature.
    Especially because you're suing a retailer….not the producer of the product.
    That's actually really stupid.
    CVS can sell whatever they want.

    I mean, they also sell candy, cigarettes, etc…things which are bad for you…in a pharmacy.
    Homeopathic products aren't bad for you at least…and on the label it always says none of the claims of potential benefits are supported by the FDA.

    So basically…you think stores shouldn't sell things you don't approve of…and that buyers have literally no obligation to read the labels of things they purchase.

    Will you also sue Wal-Mart for selling rat poison in the same store they sell food?
    What if someone eats it because they didn't read the label?

  26. I’ve been saying this for years- the public need to be protected by law from ineffective treatments and the pharmacists need to stop looking for a quick buck

  27. What, to learn about the lawsuit go to your website? Why didn't you talk about it right here? The video ended just as the actual content was about to begin; watching it was like reading only the introductory paragraph of a school essay.

  28. Not just CVS, but all retailers who pedal these bogus therapies should be brought into question; from Walgreens to GFC to Walmart. They all partake in this absurd marketing strategy and they all profit bigtime off of misleading and sometimes outright fraudulent marketing. Heck even rehabilitation centers such as Easter Seals are getting in on the action, as our local "occupational therapist" tried convincing us that our daughter needed "music therapy" to calm her nerves, at of course $130 per session, just to listen to Johann Sebastian Bach on special headphones.

    Medicine in the U.S. is a lucrative and often unsubstantiated business, which is largely why a medical accident or two can quickly force a family into bankruptcy. I totally agree with the CFI's litigation here but sadly it's far too shallow and will only affect a small percentage of our rip-off medical market even if they are successful in their litigation.

  29. Is Homeopathic "medicine" junk?
    Of course it is.

    However, by it's very definition, it can't cause any harm. Because it's nothing but water.

    Now, should CVS sell this crap? No.
    But suing them will only serve the unintended consequence of validating conspiracies.

    Educate. Demonstrate WHY it's bunk. Any effort to "ban" these products only helps their creators narrative that, "This product is so good, "THEY" don't want you to by it."

    Think beyond the 1st step.

  30. Never believed in this bs! But….to my view regular medicine is not always safe and working either, FDA is an institution I don't always believe after they put a new drug on the market. Corrupt to the core and busy filling their pockets with our money! Big pharma a huge problem in this world

  31. CVS has been going downhill for a long time. Some good health services have moved away from CVS. I hadn’t realized they were doing this, thanks for letting us know.

  32. Well done! It's a dirty job but someone had to do it. The CFI might run out of money. You guys are brave. GO GET 'EM!!!

  33. Finally someone is doing something. I'm European, living on USA. Last winter I was sick with a cold and my wife both me some medicine. I would usually read the paper inside to check for side effects and dosing, but there was nothing inside. Then I noticed the homeopathy label on the box. I knew this means placebo that basically does nothing and you depend on your body to figure this illness on it's own. The "medication" was not cheap and I knew it was 100 percent ineffective. I asked her why she decided to by this and she said it was referred by the CVS staff as one of those good natural ways to deal with the illness. I tossed in a garbage where it belongs and got me some real medicine.

  34. Why don't you take on the scientific community which is a far stronger foe, you could find hundreds of faults with their claims also, which are more dangerous because they carry the science label which also make government policy, unlike the other stuff which you can take or leave. And easy target just aggrandising yourself and doing nothing to expose official corruption, just the small guy.

  35. I agree with fighting homeopathy, but I see no reason that it should be illegal or fraudulent for CVS to sell clearly labeled hokum if people are stupid enough to buy it. As long as there are no false claims on the packaging, I see no reason this ought to be CVS' responsibility.
    Fidget spinners are useless, and I'm sure somewhere they're sold alongside tools or appliances or something. If someone is dumb enough to believe a forget spinner will tighten nuts, let them waste their money.

    This whole lawsuit business strikes me as being silly, perhaps a promotional stunt to raise awareness of homeopathic bullshit, but ineffectual otherwise.

  36. Many people say they got better when they took homeopathy tablets. Is all in their mind. Is placebo. But did they got better? Homeopathy still has a lot of followers, generates money. It seems that's all what really matters in our society. Good luck.

  37. End violence #cannabis and delete ambien manure because you sleep great! W pot before bed! Folks know! Dont lie! Pos corporq fraud manure pollution!

  38. Why is Richard "the cannibal pedophile" Dawkins so full of rubbish? Because he calls people stupid and insane if they don't believe something that is scientifically and statistically impossible, abiogenesis. Does anyone reading this comment know the calculated odds against abiogenesis? Sir Fred Hoyle knows them. Richard Lewontin knows them. David Wald knows them. Why not Richard Dawkins? Does Richard Dawkins know how evolution to a higher form of life takes place chemically, at the molecular level? The most skilled chemists in the world don't. Where are his peer reviewed papers on it. What fraud

  39. Good to see homeopathy on the run. Now how about getting pharmacies to stop selling candy, junk food and cigarettes?

  40. We had a case in Canada of a homeopathy practitioner getting heat for having treated a child's serious illness with some BS. She defended herself on camera by drinking loads of it with "see it doesn't do anything". Yes, fraudsters providing the rope with which to hang them.

  41. There is some proof that the placebo effect has some merits, so it'd be hard to prove otherwise. If you label it as a placebo then it'll stop working.

  42. Great work CFI. In the UK NHS funding for homoeopathy has been ceased and upheld by high court since June 2018. For America there is a bigger problem because there is no real public health infrastructure that is a a national institution that could replace the quacks and charlatans to maintain a high quality of health care for all and be able to reject 'snake oil'. I live in hope, but as long as Trump maintains the popular vote instead of voters listening to the real problems then we have an even greater problem.

  43. Did not know that. Heard something about 'homeopathics' but never used them. Thank you for the information.

  44. Oh man, this is so great, I don't know how to express myself!
    No matter if this is succesful or not, please try it in other countries / with other companies as well!!!

  45. I don't respect you for suing, i'll respect that you disagree with the practice because presumably you'll be looking for money.

  46. Nope, I live in a first world nation called Sweden so I have never seen that.

    Not even health food chains carry that crap over here and pharmacies most CERTAINLY do not sell them.

  47. "While using their reputation as a major pharmacy to trick people into buying untested, ineffective, fantasy products".

    Well said! Good luck, …to us all.

  48. Religion capitalizes on this type of ignorance to gain power and take hard cash away from the bovine minded xtians. Religion is disgusting and dangerous. Stop now.

  49. CVS is not exploiting peoples fears of chemicals. They're exploiting peoples ignorance and stupidity. Shame on CVS! I'm going to have to go check this out. You know Walmart sells ear candles. I asked them if they had any eye of newt, or shredded dragon tail. Maybe some of that stuff from "Harry Potter" too.

  50. This is more an issue of trust rather than education. I know quite well that Homeopathic medicine has no more than a placebo effect on your health. However, that placebo is very expensive, and when you are going to a pharmacy you trust to buy real medicine, not fake medicine and pay real money for it, that's fraud.

    I've actually been a victim of this when I went to buy anti-itch cream from Walgreens and didn't really read the active ingredients close enough while I was in the store. When I got home and actually checked and saw what I bought was measured as 10000000000X or something, I realized my mistake and returned it, I hadn't opened the package yet. They did allow me to return the product, however, I still wasted gas on the extra trip there and back because I was too trusting, and honestly we should be able to trust these pharmacies. Having a feeling of constantly having to be super vigilant against the possibility of every product possibly being a scam is a miserable shopping experience, especially if you're really sick and searching for medicine to help deal with the misery of a stomach virus or nasty case of the flu.

    Many people may not bother to read the packaging at all, and simply trust the store to provide them with real medicine, I trusted them while I was in the store but checked when I got home, some may not check at all.

  51. Thank you. I have no "problem" with homeopathics in the same way I have no "problem" with St. Lidwina medals (Catholic patron saint against chronic pain). I just don't think any religious talismans should be sold as if they were drugs, next to the Aspirin. The average consumer doesn't know that homeopathy is, simply put, a faith-based practice. Why only this one faith has been given licence to sell and market its expensive holy water as if it were drugs has always confounded me. If CVS wants to put the homeopathics in a section labeled "faith products" with Buddha statues, St. Lidwina medals, and chakra crystals, great. But they know they are only selling so much of this stuff by tricking people into buying religious talismans for a faith they (most likely) don't even believe. No matter what your faith or non-faith, that should piss you off.

  52. Only 30-50% of prescription medication works for the people subscribed to them. Funny how the Center for Inquiry goes after the weak.

  53. So your organization is "science-based"? What part is? Is it where Dawkins claims the creation of the universe was done by "literally nothing"? What about the extreme order we have in the universe from the result of "literally nothing"? What about the insanity to think that life came from non-life? Crap, you dumbasses can't even explain how we evolved human sexual reproduction. This list goes on and on but you can shove your "science-based" organization of your dumb ass.

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