Consumer News

CATrends: Lidocaine Pain Relief Patches

Plaintiffs allege packaging misrepresents lidocaine dosages as 'maximum strength,' among other things.

Consumer News

CATrends: Lidocaine Pain Relief Patches

This article highlights a trend in class-action litigation as identified by our Class-Action Tracker. Thus the name of this feature, CATrends. (Apologies if you were expecting funny cat videos.)

Several lidocaine pain relief patches are not as strong, sticky or successful at treating pain as advertised on product packaging, according to a spate of class-action lawsuits against CVS, Walmart, Target, Kroger and others.

Since the beginning of the year, a dozen lawsuits have been filed alleging product packaging misrepresents lidocaine dosages as “maximum strength,” the amount of time patches adhere to the body and/or the pain relief benefits of the products.

The complaint against CVS over its marketing of its “maximum strength” store-brand lidocaine pain relief patches states:

Nearly every individual suffers muscle aches and pains and seeks relief for this common problem. When consumers purchase pain-relieving products, the strength of the dose is an important purchasing consideration. In fact, consumers willingly pay a premium for pain-relieving products that have strong doses.

Yet there are other lidocaine products on the market that contain a higher percentage of the topical anesthetic than CVS’ product, the lawsuit claims.

Class-action lawsuits also allege that pain relief patches fail to adhere to the body for the length of time advertised on the label. For example, plaintiffs claim that Walgreens advertises its lidocaine patches can be applied “up to 12 hours” when they regularly peel off within a few hours or even minutes.

And several class-action lawsuits accuse companies of misleadingly marketing the pain relief benefits of lidocaine patches. For example, plaintiffs allege that packaging for Kroger, Dollar General and Assured products represent that patches provide “numbing relief” when the products are not capable of providing such relief.

Find more of our coverage on products promising pain relief here.

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