Summary of Action

Between 2015 and 2019, multiple class-action lawsuits were filed against Quincy Bioscience for falsely advertising the brain supplement Prevagen to millions of aging Americans as able to improve memory when, in reality, Prevagen cannot improve memory because it is rapidly digested in the stomach like any other dietary protein and cannot cross the blood-brain barrier or enter the human brain.

In June 2020, the parties reached a proposed settlement agreement that would resolve the numerous class actions against Quincy. However, the proposed settlement provides no meaningful benefit to the class wronged by Quincy’s deceptive marketing over the past 13 years. Most of the three million class members will not receive any compensation yet will be giving up their litigation rights forever, as well as their ability to obtain any recovery from a pending consumer protection lawsuit filed against Quincy by the FTC and state of New York for the company’s false marketing. Meanwhile, under the proposed settlement, Quincy will pay plaintiff’s counsel $4.2 million (one million dollars less than it spends in one month advertising Prevagen) to drop the lawsuit. If that is not enough to deny approval, Quincy will walk away with a lifetime hall pass to continue deceptively marketing Prevagen.

For these reasons, TINA.org filed a brief in October 2020 as amicus curiae opposing the proposed settlement agreement as unfair to consumers. However, on November 18, 2020, the Court granted final approval of the settlement. For more information about TINA.org’s position or to read the full brief, use the menu.

Of note, TINA.org investigated Prevagen in 2015 and determined that Quincy was engaged in a deceptive advertising campaign for the supplement. After notifying the company of its findings, TINA.org filed a complaint letter with the FTC for the company’s failure to cease the deceptive marketing claims. (To read about TINA.org’s Prevagen investigation, click here.)

The FTC, together with the state of New York, later sued Quincy for its false advertising. The lawsuit was initially dismissed by the district court but that decision was vacated by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and the lawsuit remains pending. (TINA.org filed an amici brief in that appeal in conjunction with AARP, AARP Foundation, National Consumers League and a group of advertising law academics. To read more about TINA.org’s involvement in that appeal, click here.)

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