Telehealth company Visibly to pay $500K over deceptive marketing

Telehealth company Visibly has agreed to pay a $500,000 settlement over deceptive marketing practices.

Eleven state attorneys general opened an investigation after the FDA warned Visibly about marketing its online vision tests without the proper clearance or approval. Visibly had claimed its tests were as accurate as an in-person exam. Visibly will pay Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.

"Individuals increasingly turn to the internet for products and services to improve their health and well-being, and they oftentimes rely on the claims companies make about their offerings," Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul said in an April 14 news release. "Companies that deceive the public with false claims about their products and services must be held accountable."

The FDA has since approved Visibly's visual acuity test. However, under the settlement, the company must disclose that its online test isn't a substitute for comprehensive in-person eye exams and encourage consumers to seek such exams for overall eye health.

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