The companies behind the over-the-counter product Cold-FX are being hit with a class-action lawsuit that claims they made misleading advertising statements about its effectiveness.
The lawsuit was filed by Toronto-based Tyr LLP and has been certified by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the law firm said in a statement Friday.
It is against Bausch Health, Canada Inc., which distributes Cold-FX in Canada, and its affiliate Valeant Canada. The lawsuit claims the companies made “false, misleading, deceptive, or unconscionable advertising claims to consumers” concerning a wide variety of Cold-FX products.
They include Cold-FX (regular and extra strength), Cold-FX Daily Support (regular, chewable and extra strength), Cold-FX First Signs, Cold-FX First Signs Nighttime and Cold-FX Daily Defence (regular and extra strength).
“Among the advertisements at issue are statements that the Cold-FX Products are: ‘proven by science’; ‘clinically proven’; contain ‘clinically proven ingredients’; or have a ‘clinically proven formula’ to help (i) reduce the frequency, duration, and severity of cold and flu symptoms and (ii) increase the proportion of natural killer cells and T-helper cells to boost the immune system,” Tyr said in its statement.
“These claims largely form the basis of the allegations in this class action that the Defendants have breached provincial consumer protection legislation, the federal Competition Act, and the federal Food and Drugs Act.”
The lawsuit will seek reimbursement in full or in part to all Canadians who purchased Cold-FX products between Jan. 1, 2017 and Sept. 28, 2023, or a return of the profits made between that time, as well as an end to the advertising claims at issue.
Bausch Health and Valeant Canada have denied that they have made false or misleading statements or breached legislation, according to Tyr.
A class-action lawsuit against Cold-FX was previously launched in 2012, also claiming false advertisement, but was tossed by a judge in 2016 who said there wasn’t a clear group with the same complaint.