Boiron (Euronext: BOI) is a manufacturer of homeopathic products, headquartered in France and with an operating presence in 59 countries worldwide. It is the largest manufacturer of homeopathic products in the world. In 2004, it employed a workforce of 2,779 and had a turnover of € 313 million. It is currently a member of the CAC Small 90 stock index.
In June 2005, the firm acquired Dolisos Laboratories, then the world's second largest manufacturer of homeopathic preparations.
Products of Boiron include mono- (Hahnemanian) preparations and poly- (which Boiron called "Proprietary drugs").
Several class action lawsuits have been filed on behalf of consumers claiming that Boiron's homeopathic products, including Children's Coldcalm and Oscillococcinum, are useless and Boiron's marketing of these products is deceptive.
Samuele Riva, an Italian blogger, wrote an entry about the implausibility of homeopathy including images of Boiron's top-selling product. The company sent a letter to the Internet provider for the blog, but the result was a backlash in favor of freedom of speech.
The non-profit, educational organizations Center for Inquiry (CFI) and the associated Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI) have petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), criticizing Boiron for misleading labeling and advertising of Oscillococcinum. "One petition complains that Boiron’s packaging for Oscillococcinum lists the alleged active ingredient – duck liver and heart – in Latin only. Another petition complains that Boiron’s web ad for this product implies that it has received FDA approval." Ronald Lindsay, CFI and CSI president and chief executive officer, contends, "If Boiron is going to sell snake oil, the least they can do is use English on their labels.”
A class action against Boiron, filed in 2011 on behalf of "all California residents who purchased Oscillo at any time within the past four years," charged that Boiron "falsely advertises that Oscillo has the ability to cure the flu because it contains an active ingredient it claims is proven to get rid of flu symptoms in 48 hours." The lawsuit also stated that the listed active ingredient in Oscillococcinum (Oscillo) "is actually Muscovy Duck Liver and Heart ... and has no known medicinal quality." A settlement was reached, with Boiron denying any wrongdoing. As part of the settlement, Boiron agreed to make specific changes to its marketing, including adding to their packaging notices like "These ‘Uses’ have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration" and "C, K, CK, and X are homeopathic dilutions."
- Gina Delrosa vs Boiron, Inc.
- Homeopathic Drugmaker Can't Nix Class Action
- Children's Coldcalm Class Action Lawsuit
- Boiron Oscillococcinum Class Action Lawsuit
- "Homeopathy, myth and legend" (in Italian): Part 1, Part 2
- Turone, Fabio (August 12, 2011), Homoeopathy multinational Boiron threatens amateur Italian blogger, BMJ, doi:10.1136/bmj.d5197, PMID 21840920
- "Citizen Petition calls on US FDA to review regulation of homeopathic drugs". The Pharma Letter. 18 September 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-20.
- "Boiron Oscillococcinum Class Action Lawsuit". Top Class Actions. 8 August 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-24.
- "The Law Office of Ronald A. Marron, APLC and Patton Boggs LLP Announce Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement". Retrieved 30 May 2012.
- "Gallucci v. Boiron, Inc. et al Settlement Agreement". Retrieved 30 May 2012.
- Official Boiron website (French)
- Official Boiron US website
- Quackwatch analysis of one of their "magical" products
- Part 1 of the original blog entry
- Part 2 of the original blog entry
- Article about the blogger-case in British Medical Journal
- Article about the blogger case in the German Handelsblatt
- Datamonitor OTC Healthcare in France to 2009
- Wright Reports, company snapshot
- Yahoo! Finance company profile