Close on the heels of a rebuke from the UK drug watchdog, Duchy Originals, a firm owned by Prince Charles has stopped claiming therapeutic efficacy of its controversial herbal drugs.
In January the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) upheld a complaint over the online advertising of two drugs marketed by the Duchy Originals, Duchy Herbals Echina-Relief Tincture and Duchy Herbals Hyperi-Lift Tincture.
AdvertisementAlthough the MHRA had given the company a license to sell the remedies it did not allow them to make any claims about their effects, merely to stress their ''traditional use,'' Duchy was told.
The remedies have been available in stores and through the company's website since the end of January and the MHRA made its ruling after a complaint from a member of the public.
Subsequently a leading scientist accused the Prince of ''exploiting the gullible'' with the Duchy Originals' tinctures.
Prof Edzard Ernst, from the Peninsula Medical School, dismissed one of the remedies, the company's Detox Artichoke and Dandelion Tincture, as ''quackery'' and dubbed the brand ''Dodgy Originals''.
Since then the website statements have been amended. Now it says that Duchy Herbals Hyperi-Lift Tincture is a "traditional herbal medicinal product used to relieve the symptoms of slightly low mood and mild anxiety, based on traditional use only."
Similarly Duchy Herbals Echina-Relief Tincture is a "traditional herbal medicinal product used to relive the symptoms of the common cold and influenza type infections."
The Duchy Herbals brand is also being investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over claims made about its Detox Tincture product.