HRA Pharma America’s Mederma Scar Cream + SPF 30 is falsely advertised as a scar cream “plus” sunscreen since it lacks the key active ingredient found in the company’s regular scar cream, a proposed class action alleges.
The 17-page case argues that a reasonable consumer who views the product’s label, which states that the cream “reduces the appearance of old & new scars” and is “nearly identical” to Mederma’s regular scar cream, would be led to believe that the Scar Cream + SPF 30 is simply a scar cream product plus sunscreen. Unbeknownst to consumers, however, the Scar Cream + SPF 30 does not contain allantoin, the active ingredient in Mederma’s regular scar cream, and contains only the active ingredients normally found in “any other sunscreen,” the lawsuit alleges.
“Thus, reasonable consumers are led to believe they are purchasing a premium Product that contains an active ingredient such as allantoin; however, that is not the case, as consumers are just receiving the active ingredients of a typical sunscreen product, which is clearly less premium than what they were promised.”
The lawsuit explains that allantoin, the active ingredient found in Mederma’s regular scar treatment product, has been shown to produce “healing effects on skin” and is commonly used in medical-grade and prescription products due to its skin-repairing benefits.
Per the case, consumers have paid a premium price for the Mederma Scar Cream + SPF 30 product—which comes in a 0.7-ounce tube, a “paltry amount” compared to other sunscreens, the suit says—and would not have purchased it at all had they known the truth about the cream’s active ingredients.
According to the suit, the representations on the Mederma Scar Cream + SPF 30 product label—which references scar-healing benefits and has a “nearly identical” design, colors, font and layout as Mederma’s regular scar cream product—imply that the cream contains allantoin plus the active ingredients found in sunscreen.
The case claims, however, that the Scar Cream + SPF 30 contains only avobenzone, octocrylene and oxybenzone, the active ingredients in “any other sunscreen,” yet is sold at a premium price that consumers would not be willing to pay for a garden-variety sunscreen. The suit mentions that even though the defendant has changed the packaging of the Mederma Scar Cream + SPF 30, the new front label “remains misleading and deceptive to consumers.”
The case aims to cover New York residents who purchased the Mederma Scar Cream + SPF 30 product for personal, family or household consumption (and not for resale) within the applicable statute of limitations period.
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