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Airborne, wasting your money since around 1998

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So, it has come to my attention (a few days ago) that Airborne must pay 25 million due to a lawsuit claiming that it didn’t work.

Some highlights include:

  • Airborne not proven to work
  • The “clinical study” was preformed by a couple of random dillholes and probably was just made up
  • If you purchased airborne, you can get a refund
  • Making medical claims without FDA approval

Now, I know that any self-respected pharmacist would never ever suggest airborne to anyone that they cared about.  Why? Because it doesn’t work.  We all know this, you all know this.  Its vitamin-C and a bunch of other OTC shit all in a fizzy alka-selzer tablet that makes you feel all warm inside.  Its like donating $0.75 a day (the price of a cup of coffee) to starving African kids when its just going to feed Sally Struthers.  Rich folk do that just so they can get a hard-on by ‘helping people’ as they bitch at me about their $30 copay.

The only person you would sell Airborne to is that retired teacher who always calls you out front for an OTC recommendation only to tell you how wrong you are and buy something else.  Those fucks you are happy to see waste money because they have no problems wasting your time.

Which brings me to another point.  One of the major selling points of Airborne is that it was “CREATED BY A SCHOOL TEACHER!”.  Now just not any teacher, but a 2nd grade teacher.  Someone enlighten me as to why I would trust anything a school-teacher made?  How is that even a half-way valid selling point?  Some of the most ignorant people I know are school teachers ( mostly because they think they know everything and are very vocal about it).  If it were made by a pharmacist it might have some basis because at least we know how the body works, but a 2nd grade school teacher?  Is this shit going to work based upon the vast knowledge of social studies? Cursive writing? Multiplication tables? Is this teacher applying their vast knowledge of shit-stupid physical science to prevent my cold?  What qualifications does he/she have (being a 2nd grade teacher and all) that would actually give her some real-world claim to actually know something about medicine?

Victoria Knight-McDowell, please inform us pharmacists what your methods were to determine what does and does not work to prevent colds as well as any relevant research and study data?  What? No I do not wish my name on the chalkboard. What?!? Detention?  Aww!!!  I’m sorry for implying that you are a fraud preying on the stupidity of the uneducated population, can I go to recess now?

I’m confused as to why people waste their money on this shit.  I’m actually shocked that people swear by something that is proven to not work and has every pharmacist in the country saying that it does not work.  Its the “#1 best selling” because people are stupid.  Not because it works, but because people are piss-stupid.

Of course they also buy “Head On” which is chap-stick for your forehead so I guess I should just shut my mouth.

Comments #

Comment by -Aaron- on 2008-03-07 12:08:49 -0800 #

Thank you Oprah…

Comment by Jonathan on 2008-03-07 12:14:51 -0800 #

Not only does Airborne not work, it tastes like ass. Though I think Zicam and Occilicoccinum work rather decently, though I find the latter works better of the lot.
I do suffer migraines and Head On does NOT work 99% of the time.
[quote]One of the major selling points of Airborne is that it was “CREATED BY A SCHOOL TEACHER!”.[/quote]
I too noticed that, though I am not a pharmacist (yet), but that really is a TURN OFF for me when deciding to purchase something like this!!!

Comment by Alex on 2008-03-07 12:53:19 -0800 #

Ok, is anyone surprised?

Comment by Vk on 2008-03-07 14:19:22 -0800 #

Half this problem was because of Oprah. I believe she had the lady on one of her “I was just a housewife now i’m worth $20 million” shows. She really stressed the “2nd Grade teacher part”

Comment by Radish on 2008-03-07 16:01:39 -0800 #

I didn’t know they still taught multiplication tables in schools.

Comment by one_angry_tech on 2008-03-07 17:40:49 -0800 #

This would explain why some numnut called the pharmacy today about his refund for Airborne.. After I innocently asked if he had a receipt, he informed me that he read that there was a class action lawsuit and to call the pharmacy for more information. Toward the end of our conversation, he let it slip that he read it on the internet on yahoo..
So I checked the interent tonight, and unsurprisingly enough, there is no mention anywhere that I’ve seen telling people to call the pharmacy about it.. it’s more or less giving them the website link or mailing adress to fill out a claim form.

Comment by pharmacy chick on 2008-03-07 17:49:29 -0800 #

Finally I am vindicated. I have been dissing that garbage since it first hit the shelves.

Comment by on 2008-03-07 18:48:58 -0800 #

Darn, and people were getting pissed off at me left and right when i would tell them to save their money and get a multivitamin that costs 90% less instead. Shocker. Go figure, yet again the moronic masses don’t know what they’re talking about.

Comment by TheDruggist on 2008-03-07 23:21:21 -0800 #

I remember when Airborne first came out in the 90’s…Customers were running in asking for “Airplane”, “First-born”, “Take-off”, “Aero-born”, we knew it sucked but people didn’t listen…..

Comment by Steph on 2008-03-08 01:13:14 -0800 #

I was teaching my children about the brilliant marketing strategy of the teacher, wishing I’da thought of it, in line at the Trader Joe’s, which stacks mountains of the boxes at the registers. The woman ahead of me in line glared at me with her beady eyes, “It ALWAYS works for me.” Then with the “And I know my body.” ANECDOTE. ANnnN-ECK-DOH-Tah. Aw, fuck it. People are stupid. Except when it comes to getting their piece of a class-action suit, then they’re all interested in the lack of evidence. Stupid people. Well, what do I care really, as long as they’re paying. At least it’s not something they’re insisting the insurance companies pay for. “Uh, I need the BRAND name Airborne, cuz that’s the only kind that works for me. I know my body.”

Comment by Norcross on 2008-03-08 06:27:06 -0800 #

HAHAHAHA! I had a boss a few years ago that had a hard-on for this stuff. He would actually give people shit for getting sick if they DIDN’T take Airborne. I ended up getting bronchitis at one point, and he tried to tell me that had I have taken Airborne, I would have prevented it. I promptly coughed a wad of black tar out of my lungs onto his desk (by accident, of course), and left.
I soon had a new job.

Comment by Cathy Lane RPh on 2008-03-08 09:24:26 -0800 #

Ha. I don’t know that I’m glad someone is suing the company, but it’s time some legal action got on board with the OTC bunch.
When a customer asked me about that product, I went over the list of ingredients with the client and was hard-put to say anything other than ‘some people would buy it, I wouldn’t’ while wondering what it was doing in the pharmacy section.
When I’m ‘wandering the aisles’ as techs like to call it, answering questions about products, I find it difficult to say much about the benefits of some of the ‘natural products’ beyond what I can explain from commonsense (pharmacist perspective).
I spend a lot of time explaining that some cheap trick is no substitute for the real substance of sound, healthful practices, and if someone is griping about the cost of healthcare, it behooves them to get their moneysworth of discussion with the physician.
Like I wonder what a lot of other products are doing in close proximity to the pharmacist such as homeopathic remedies for leg cramps and ear aches. I suspect insofar that none of the products have been proven to cause immediate illness, that the companies can get by with it.
This business of selling deceptive products in the pharmacy section, as if there is some redeeming value to them reminds me of a certain political candidate in a bid for a high government post, that plies on ‘fear-mongering’ and slick, sly deception, plus relying heavily on a ‘two-for-one’ mentality. Perhaps, there could be another section of the drugstore for these questionable ‘buy at your own risk’ goods.

Comment by catpaw on 2008-03-08 12:37:30 -0800 #

Now that you mention Head-on, can you track down these idiots and the brains behind their commercial and do very nasty things to them? If the commercial doesn’t stir up the ole migraines, nothing will. Is it all a ploy to get we desperate sorts to drag our sorry asses to the store and buy their jackass products.

Comment by indietech on 2008-03-08 15:02:32 -0800 #

i heard this story the other day as well, however i know that the teacher happens to think she’s qualified to make this because she has extensively studied homeopathic remedies. [insert eye roll here] so she put together her knowledge of vitamins and minerals and “eastern remedies” and created this lovely product.

Comment by otcexpert on 2008-03-08 15:09:39 -0800 #

I’m sick of people asking for advice for products that will reduce the days of a cold/flu. There is really no such thing. Instead of coming into the pharmacy and spreading their germs to everyone they come in contact with, they should remain at home and rest. That would be the best way to recover. Zicam, zinc, echinacea, etc.. will not miraculously cure the flu. There are drugs to stop cough, running nose, headache, and palliate symptoms, but to become fully restored will take time.

Comment by rph3664 on 2008-03-08 16:36:31 -0800 #

That Oprah promoted it, consciously or not, speaks volumes.
I have heard that “Head On” works, although not for everyone and not for all headaches. My favorite commercial for it is the one with the black guy. Heck, he could rub it all over his shiny bald head and nobody would know!
I very briefly worked at a place where I swear half the customers wanted something that would “detoxify” them. You know, so they would pass a drug test. Those of you who visit regularly, if you’re guessing this was where I worked with the guy who possibly urinated in Medicaid children’s Amoxil, you’re right.

Comment by rph3664 on 2008-03-08 16:39:54 -0800 #

p.s. I wonder if all those people who purchased Bloussant (for bigger breasts) or Enzyte (natural male enhancement) got their money back too.
That “Bob” is something else, isn’t he?

Comment by The Ole’ Apothecary on 2008-03-08 20:23:19 -0800 #

I first saw that product on a Walgreens end cap not far from the douche bag aisle.
I don’t have to look at the Drug Facts panel on any product bearing a cartoon and type of inventor (school teacher, pharmacist, beehive attendant) to know what’s in it. I just don’t care what’s in it.

Comment by Jaymz on 2008-03-08 20:32:53 -0800 #

The main reason this stuff sold so well was Oprah. I swear, you could fill capsules with sawdust and as long as you could get on Oprah, people would buy them. I don’t know how many products we’ve had fly off the shelves after being on Oprah – Airborne, Bordreaux’s Butt Paste (cuz Oprah has changed so many diapers and this stuff is just… zinc oxide like every other diaper cream out there), Neti pots (which might actually have some effectiveness), and the list goes on.
We’ve talked about this teacher developed selling point at work before. I’d always hoped that at least this teacher was a high school science teacher or something, but a second grade teacher? Heck, I used to be an elementary teacher, and the only science courses I took were Biology 101 and Earth Science.
People don’t even want to “suffer” for a minute anymore. At least once every weekend, I find out that at least one of the people who is asking about cold remedies has been suffering from symptoms for something like an hour. Yes, I said AN HOUR. No wonder people think Airborne works. That runny nose or headache they’ve had for an hour never was an illness.

Comment by Aus Ph’Student on 2008-03-09 16:35:37 -0700 #

Being in Aus, I haven’t heard of Airborne, but I just want the say, thank God the placebo-pushers have finally taken a well deserved knock
I am so sick to death of people asking me for something “Natural” or saying that “Homeopathy is safe and effective”.
I just hope this litigation will finally start to bring down these frauds, especially since they’re only on the market because of a corrupt senator you guys had a while back and no-one’s done anything since.
PS. I had a scream when I read the end of the article however “Take Vitamin C if you want to boost your immune system, Schardt says.” (eye twitches irritably)

Comment by Aus Ph’Student on 2008-03-09 16:37:03 -0700 #

By the way, you guys get coffee for $0.75?!
The hell, more like $3 over here, and the exchange rate’s not that bad!

Comment by a.m. on 2008-03-09 21:57:53 -0700 #

I’m a mere civilian and just want to say THANK YOU. I’m all about holistic health and vitamins and all that jazz, but the hard-ons people get about this shit baffles me.

Comment by Biggest Fan on 2008-03-10 10:55:03 -0700 #

Hmmm…Ideas are running thru my head like crazy here. I am a doc….I USED to be a teacher – If I could only get something on Oprah – I’d truly have it made.
Someone mentioned the Netipots – I absolutely LOVE all the Neilmed products. Ran into them at the CHEST conference last October. Have been using the nasal wash and the little saline gel on my family (I have a 5 year old who does her own wash!) and patients since. Just as an FYI – the little tube of saline gel….apply to just inside nostril with clean q-tip…seriously – the most heavenly thing you’ve ever felt if your nose is raw from blowing it all day. I’d pay a hundred bucks for a tube of that stuff. I’m still using the samples I got – but I hope my local pharms carry it when the samples are gone. That’s my plug for the Neilmed products! (no, don’t have any interest in the company)
As I’ve said before – you guys keep doing the great jobs you do! In the meantime – I’m going to think of a product I can market: Dr. Biggest Fan, formerly a teacher and coach, stands behind the use of Product-el-crapo for fixing anything that may be bothering you! (open to ideas, people!)

Comment by The Ole’ Apothecary on 2008-03-11 00:24:14 -0700 #

To my Aussie friend,
Hey, let’s start selling Vegemite in the U.S.! They won’t need to know what’s in it. Hell, I still don’t know anyway.

Comment by MrHunnybun on 2008-03-11 11:26:32 -0700 #

I saw this shit when I was in the US last year.
I picked it up, out of curiousity as teh whole idea intrigued me. Then I put it back…I remember thinking at the time “Wow, a Schoolteacher, am I meant to be impressed?”
No offence to schoolteachers but here, in the UK it is fairly easy to get into teaching. You don’t have to be that bright, it’s something “Nice, but not too bright” people tend to do.
An over-elaborate vitamin tablet…I bet it sold in bucketloads

Comment by rph3664 on 2008-03-11 17:51:40 -0700 #

The Old Apothecary, I post on a board with a lot of Australian and British members. In addition to Vegemite, they also talk a lot about Marmite which is sold at my local natural foods store.
It just looks nasty.

Comment by BlueTech on 2008-03-11 23:16:55 -0700 #

Every time I saw that box on the shelf, I thought “Why would I take something made by a school teacher, when pharmacologists get paid to make stuff? >.< And to think I wasted 5.49 on a pack of Wal-bourne.
Just a side note, your captcha system for anonymous posting, though useful in theory, is a real pain in the ass. Just thought you should know.

Comment by N.B. on 2008-03-17 12:09:07 -0700 #

Whoops. I think I just posted a blank comment.
I concur with the trash-talking at Oprah. Personally, I think Airborne is an example of natural selection in action. If you really think a grade-school teacher is qualified to design drug formulations, you probably deserve to get scammed, especially if you ask your pharmacist whether or not the product is “any good” and they tell you “no, this is a bunch of herbs in a sexed-up effervescent multivitamin.”
Poster Jonathan makes me sad. Oscillococcinum? Effective? And you’re training to become a pharmacist? SHAME ON YOU! The “active ingredient” in that stuff is 1×10^-400 (yes, 10 to the negative 400th power) grams of duck liver. Which means that there is no duck liver in individual tablets. At $10 a box, “Oscillo” is the most profitable placebo I’ve ever seen.

Comment by ggggg on 2008-08-17 08:52:28 -0700 #

Nice that you feel a product doesn’t work, yet you CONTINUE TO SELL IT.
Integrity! Classy.

Comment by CoBEnicus on 2009-04-09 07:00:12 -0700 #

Oh my! did someone posting on here actually mention another pseudoscientific quack medicine, Oscillococcinum?! Look at the wiki entry on it, the first sentence is enough to explain what it is. It’s a homeopathic preperation, but not just ANY kind of preperation, it uses a different method which super dilutes the mixture in the same container up to 200X dilution! It’s essentially a placebo pill with the all important sugar ingredient included, save your money and buy sugar cubes. The “science” behind it was based upon a theory before we knew what caused disease. The founder thought that measles, diabetes and other unrelated illneses were caused by bacterium, but not just any, but one found in the liver of a specific duck.

Comment by Harry (hospital nurse) on 2009-07-28 15:59:09 -0700 #

I am a REAL WORK NURSE and I can tell you for a fact that airborne diet medicine is a frued!

Just look at this:

This was written by me and a number of other REAL NURSES (we work in a hospital for sick people). Now you know the truths about this vile weed.

Comment by pharmacygirl2007 on 2010-03-22 00:43:20 -0700 #

When airborne came out I was super pissed, because I didn’t think of it first. I realized that you can put dirt in a capsule, call it a food or nutritional supplement instead of a drug, get a commercial and you will be rich. Of coruse airborne messed up by making actual claims. They should have said something along the lines of ” helps boost your immune system… These statements have not been approved by the FDA and we are not liable for your stupidity.”
Customers really had attitude when I told them that I could not make a recommendation on airborne because I had no actual facts, studies, or FDA approval on which to base a recommendation. However, they shouldn’t be allowed to sue. Are you kidding me? A non medical professional creates a cure for the common cold(when scientists and doctors have been trying for years to find a cure) and you are dumb enough to believe it. Actually, I have a new product I want to sell. It is all natural and in a capsule. It gives you a piece of the earth…. by which I mean dirt in a capsule. I bet I could make milliions.

Comment by Pattie on 2018-04-15 17:46:45 -0700 #

I have been taking Airborne since 1998 and I can count on one hand how many colds I have had…I can also say that the colds I have had, did not last very long…I am a strong believer in Airborne.. I will never stop taking it.