FDA Warns Consumers About Unauthorized Fraudulent COVID19 Products

March 25, 2020

FDA Warns Consumers About Unauthorized Fraudulent COVID-19 Products. The FDA issued a Consumer Update advising consumers to be beware of fraudulent coronavirus tests, vaccines and treatments. The FDA has seen unauthorized fraudulent test kits for COVID-19 being sold online. Currently, the FDA has not authorized any test that is available to purchase for testing yourself at home for COVID-19. The FDA is concerned that deceptive and misleading products might cause Americans to unknowingly spread COVID-19 or not get treated appropriately if they use an unauthorized test or to delay or stop appropriate medical treatment, leading to serious and life-threatening harm. The FDA warns that the products likely do not do what they claim, and the ingredients in them could cause adverse effects and could interact with, and potentially interfere with, essential medications. The FDA made clear that there are no FDA-approved products to prevent COVID-19. For example, the FDA is aware of people trying to prevent COVID-19 by taking a product called chloroquine phosphate, which is sold to treat parasites in aquarium fish. Products for veterinary use or for “research use only” may have adverse effects, including serious illness and death, when taken by people. The agency warns against taking any form of chloroquine unless it has been prescribed by a health care provider and obtained from legitimate sources.

Here are some tips to identify false or misleading claims:

  • Be suspicious of products that claim to treat a wide range of diseases.
  • Personal testimonials are no substitute for scientific evidence.
  • Few diseases or conditions can be treated quickly, so be suspicious of any therapy claimed as a “quick fix.”
  • If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • “Miracle cures,” which claim scientific breakthroughs or contain secret ingredients, are likely a hoax.
  • Know that you can’t test yourself for coronavirus disease.
The FDA has been working with retailers to remove dozens of misleading products from store shelves and online and will continue to monitor social media and online marketplaces promoting and selling fraudulent COVID-19 products.
Haynes and Boone has a COVID-19 task force in place and continues to monitor the global impact of COVID-19 on various industries. For questions on the FDA’s evolving COVID-19 policies or food safety during the COVID-19 crisis, please contact Suzie Trigg or any member of the Healthcare and Life Sciences Group.