This is a wild story as first of all customers who purchase their products have to sign a gag order not to write any bad reviews. The product that is mixed is said to fill up your stomach so you won’t eat and will cause you to lose weight. Tech dirt below says it is actually “industrial food thickening agents” that make up the product sold. In looking at the site it appears there’s insurance coverage for this too, like around half the cost from what I could tell.
As you can read below Roca is suing one website claiming interference with selling their products. The court now has rejected the web site’s request to stop Roca from threatening them and Roca is considering an injunction against them. So as this goes on, folks do some digging to find out that the doctor promoting their products was actually a pediatrician who lost his license and now all references to the doctor have been removed from the Roca website. Again the matter of not allowing people to talk about their experiences with the product is the crux of what started all of this and having to sign a gag order. Here’s the video below on how it works and it is classified at a food supplement.
The product states it is made at an FDA registered facility and there’s no doctor’s prescription required. Again this is bizarre story and why people can’t voice their issues is a little strange as they do that all over the web, every day, any kind of product or service. It is kind of strange to see a “cash” back offer of $6 for every pound you lose when you reach 80% of your goal. There’s all types of endorsements on the site. I’m not here to argue the point of the product but rather just question the entire scenario of the gag order not to let folks voice their opinion if something didn’t work as they seem to have enough folks saying it did, so why all secrecy seems to be the question here along with finding a new doctor as a spokesperson. BD
There was a hearing on Wednesday where the court rejected PissedConsumer's request to stop Roca from threatening to sue those customers, though the reasoning is unclear right now (I assume it will come out soon). The court is still considering Roca's request for an injunction against PissedConsumer.
In the meantime, however, Adam Steinbaugh has decided to dig into the Roca Labs story, and found something rather horrifying.
A guy that Roca Labs was using to promote their stuff was actually a pediatrician who had lost his medical license because of his involvement with child porn. When Steinbaugh asked Roca about this, Roca suddenly pulled down any and all content on their website and on YouTube (there was a video of "Dr. Ross F." promoting Roca which had been here, but it has now been set to "private").
This allegation is corroborated by an Order of Revocation from the New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners, which incorporates a plea agreement, and an Order for Non Practice of Medicine from the New York State Department of Health. The substance of the agreement was that the Dr. Ross — a pediatrician — surrendered his licenses to practice medicine in New Jersey and New York and was prohibited from seeking a “license to practice medicine in any jurisdiction at any time in the future.”
The New Jersey order also includes prohibitions which “not only bar a licensee from rendering professional services, but also from providing an opinion as to professional practice or its application” and requires “affirmative action to stop advertisements by which his/her eligibility to practice is represented.”
In addition to the advertisements above, there’s also this now-deleted post, under the “ask the doctor” in which Dr. Ross F. recounts his role in the company:
I have reviewed thousands of formal inquiries from the public that request to begin using the Roca Labs Formula for weight loss. [...] I review each case individually for medical accuracy. I have been the medical director at Roca Labs for the past year. I was in clinical medical practice for 10 years before moving into pharmaceutical management. I have been involved in the development and ongoing monitoring of the Roca Labs Formula. I work directly with the staff and customers to maintain the highest levels of medical accuracy and safety.
And while it’s unclear whether the feature ever launched, a now-deleted page advertised that the company would soon offer, for thirty-five dollars, online consultations with Dr. Ross to provide “consultation and medical advice.” Another now-deleted post advertised that for a mere $380, the “online medical staff will be at your service with detailed answers and advice 24/7″ — an option known as “be my doctor”, although it’s unclear whether Dr. Ross was employed by Roca at the time.