False Pain-Relief Claims Halted


December 27, 1999

As I work with the Stimulator, it is very obvious to me that soon this product will be worldwide. I believe that every household in America very soon will own a Stimulator. It might even go to the point where each individual person in the household will own a Stimulator because they’ll want to keep it with them all the time. I also sincerely believe that the Stimulator will help you lead a more active, productive, and pain-free life. And as you share the Stimulator with your family and friends, which I hope you do and soon, I know that your family and friends are going to be calling you “Doc” or they’re going to be asking for you to use the Stimulator on them.

The FTC agreement bars Gandee and his company from making unsubstantiated claims that:

  • Use of the device will significantly reduce, relieve, or eliminate musculoskeletal pain, including but not limited to pain in the back, feet, knees, wrists, knuckles, elbows, shoulders, ankles, joints, or calves; carpal tunnel syndrome; muscle spasms or strains; or sciatica.
  • Use of the device will significantly reduce, relieve, or eliminate abdominal pain or pain or discomfort caused by allergies, sinus conditions, diverticulosis, cramps, or menstrual cramps.
  • Use of the device will eliminate the pain caused by severe headaches, including but not limited to occipital, frontal, migraine, cluster, or stress headaches, or headaches caused by benign tumors.
  • Pain relief or pain elimination provided by the device is immediate.
  • Use of the device provides long-term pain relief.
  • For pain relief, the device is as effective as, or more effective than, prescription or over-the-counter medications, including but not limited to aspirin, acetaminophen, Darvon, Darvocet, or codeine.
  • For pain relief, the device is as effective as, or more effective than, physical therapy, massage therapy, chiropractic treatment, acupuncture, acupressure, or reflexology.

In May 1995, the FDA seized thousands of Stimulators marketed by Universal Management Services, Inc., of Akron, Ohio. In December, 1995, at the FDA’s request, the U.S. Justice Department sought an injunction against this company. In December 1997, the District Court for the Northern Division of Ohio issued a permanent injunction halting the manufacture and sale of the device and ordering Universal Management Services to offer full refunds to each person who purchased one after May 1995. In September 1999, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld the district court’s ruling.

Source Documents

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This article was posted on December 27, 1999.