FTC sues former Myrtle Beach doctor for false addiction, cancer treatments

Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 12:07 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 17, 2023 at 5:25 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (WMBF) – A former Myrtle Beach doctor and medical clinic who was once accused of promoting a coronavirus treatment is back on the federal government’s radar.

The Federal Trade Commission is suing Dr. Dalal Akoury and a set of companies she controls that operate as AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center.

Akoury’s AWAREmed clinic used to be located in Myrtle Beach, but has moved to Johnson City, Tennessee.

Akoury is accused of making a wide range of false and unsupported claims for addiction treatment services, cancer treatment services and the treatment of other serious conditions.

“The opioid crisis claims lives and destroys communities all across the United States but especially in rural areas,” said Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Doctors peddling phony promises should know that the FTC will use its strengthened authority from Congress to stop them from exploiting Americans struggling with addiction.”

The FTC said in its ads, the AWAREmed boasts that it has a 98% improvement rate and can treat anything, including addictions to methadone, alcohol, food and even gambling.

AWAREmed also promotes cancer treatments on its website, claiming that patients would experience “exceptional results” and that virtually all patients at any disease stage would see some kind of improvement after being treated at the clinic, according to the FTC.

The FTC also noted that Akoury would appear on TV segments in Myrtle Beach to promote AWAREmed.

The proposed order filed by the Department of Justice earlier this month bars Akoury and her clinic from making the unsupported claims and also requires them to have “competent and reliable scientific evidence for any health-related claims they make in advertising and marketing.”

Back in 2020, at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Akoury and AWAREmed were accused of making unsubstantiated claims for a COVID-19 prevention treatment.

Akoury and AWAREmed were cleared by the FTC after making an update to its website.