Monday, April 25, 2011


Further on the issue of the previous blog - the U.S. government warning to 4 companies manufacturing antiseptic products because of unproven claims about their power to protect against bacteria, including MRSA.

I looked up all of them to see how they were reacting to the government's warning. It was all over the place - ranging from cancelling the product's website, to facing the issue honestly.

I like the honest approach. In fact, one of my pet peeves is that when food or other dangerous products are recalled, usually the company makes no effort to inform consumers: no posts on their website, no recorded messages on their company line, no special advice to people who have bought their products. So I was particularly pleased with Tec Laboratories' reaction - and this wasn't even a recall (yet) - just a warning letter.

Mind you, the claims for their product - StaphAseptic® First Aid Antiseptic - were very exaggerated. This is straight from their website ad yesterday. No surprise - today it is blank: " Applied to minor cuts, scrapes and abrasions, StaphAseptic® can help prevent skin infections caused by bacteria such as MRSA, staph, and other germs...". On Amazon the claims for the product are (still) much less nuanced: "Prevents Skin Infections Caused by Antibiotic Resistant Staph (MRSA) and other Germs." Bad, bad, Amazon.

Tec Laboratories is making no attempt to hide their problems. On their home page, there is a letter from the company's president, mentioning the issue with the FDA, and that they are trying to resolve it. In searching their website further, I also found general instructions on how to prevent MRSA skin infections, which goes beyond their product use to provide good general public health information (They have today changed the title to read "6 Step Skin Infection Prevention Program" with no specific mention of MRSA.)

Overall - top marks to Tec Laboratories for a good reaction to bad news (and false advertising). This straightforward approach is not only good from a public health perspective, but from a marketing one.


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