Two lawsuits have been launched against CVS and Walmart claiming the companies misled customers by selling unproven homeopathic medicines.

The District of Columbia’s highest court will also look into the FDA-approved over-the-counter drugs that are available on their physical stores and websites.

On Thursday, September 29, the court overturned lower-court verdicts against the nonprofit Center for Inquiry (CFI).

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It claims the retailers are breaking the Consumer Protection Procedures Act of Washington, DC.

The firms stated have homeopathic treatments and scientifically proven medication are equally effective alternatives.

The Court of Appeals found the use of “misleading product placements” and signage are unfair trade practices under the consumer protection law.

Senior Appeals Judge Phyllis Thompson stated that may require extra evidence to substantiate its case on remand, “at this juncture, we cannot say that (its allegation) is implausible.”

Walmart spokeswoman Abby Williams-Bailey said the corporation disagreed with the Court of Appeals.

She said: “We are continuing to review the court’s decision and weighing our options for further appellate review.”

CVS pharmacy and its attorneys did not respond immediately to requests for comment.

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CFI Legal Director Nick Little, who argued the consolidated appeals, lauded the ruling on Thursday while acknowledging that the case is not yet finished.

The verdict on Thursday also indicates that CFI has the standing to sue under DC law.

This specifically allows a “nonprofit organization… organized and operating, in whole or in part, for the purpose of promoting consumer interests or rights” to sue.

The lower courts ruled that CFI did not fit that criterion since it was suing on behalf of the “general population” to “foster a society free of… pseudoscience.”

However, the court ruled the two goals were not inconsistent and that CFI “at least in part, is both organized and operates to promote the interests of those who would be consumers of ‘ineffective’ homeopathic products.”

Source: Reuters

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