The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company faces a proposed class action that claims the packaging of its CareOne adhesive lidocaine patches deceptively overstates the product’s effectiveness.
The 14-page lawsuit alleges that the topical anesthetic patches regularly peel off the body within only a few hours of being applied, despite Stop & Shop’s representation that the patches can provide “up to 8 hours” of “maximum strength” pain relief.
The case also argues that Stop & Shop’s claims that the patches can “Desensitize Aggravated Nerves” and provide hours of “numbing relief” lead consumers to wrongly assume that the product can perform medical treatments on par with prescription-strength, FDA-approved items, even though OneCare patches possess neither attribute.
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“Adequate adhesion is critical for topical delivery systems, because if the patch lifts or detaches while walking, sleeping or exercising, dosing will be compromised,” the case states. “However, the Product cannot adhere to the skin for more than four hours, which renders the ‘Up To 8 Hours’ misleading, a significant disparity.”
Although newly developed adhesive technology can maintain adhesion to the skin for at least eight hours under normal conditions, CareOne’s product uses outdated and defective adhesion methods proven ineffective in a 2021 Journal of Pain Research study, the case says.
“The ‘Up To 8 Hours’ claim is also inconsistent with the ‘Uses’ disclosed on the Drug Facts which indicates it can only provide ‘Temporary relief’ which consumers will understand as a short time, less than eight hours,” the filing further argues.
Further still, the suit contends that CareOne patches cannot deliver the “maximum strength” amount of lidocaine as advertised due to the product’s systematic failure to adhere properly to the skin. The complaint charges that this label statement leads consumers to falsely believe that CareOne patches are “superior or equivalent in efficacy and results” to other non-defective, over-the-counter and prescription-strength lidocaine patches.
According to the case, packaging statements about desensitizing nerves and numbing pain wrongly imply that the product can “completely block and numb nerves and pain receptors, eliminate responses to painful stimuli, and treat neuropathic and musculoskeletal pain, including back and spinal pain.” These desensitizing and numbing front-label promises are “inconsistent with what it is authorized by law to say, i.e., that it can be used to ‘temporarily relieve[s] minor pain,’” the case states.
“As the Product’s ‘Uses’ purports to provide ‘temporary relief of pain,’ without qualifying the pain it purports to relieve as ‘minor,’ even consumers who scrutinize the Drug Facts on the back label will be misled,” according to the complaint.
Finally, the filing alleges a seal with the universally recognized symbol for a prescription, “Rx,” on the patches’ front label gives consumers the false impression that the over-the-counter product will be prescription strength.
The case argues that these misleading representations allow Stop & Shop to sell its lidocaine patches at a higher price.
The lawsuit looks to cover anyone in New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire or Rhode Island who purchased the CareOne adhesive lidocaine patches during the applicable statute of limitations period.
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