FDA: Fraudulent COVID-19 medical products abound

May 11, 2020

Numerous PPEs and testing kits also feature unproven coronavirus claims.

FDA has warned more than 40 companies that have made fraudulent medical claims relating to COVID-19.

The agency has sent 42 warning letters to companies making fake COVID-19 claims, including to a seller of fraudulent chlorine dioxide products, equivalent to industrial bleach, as a treatment for COVID-19.

Related: FDA, FTC warn suppliers of fraudulent COVID-19 products

The chorine dioxide products are frequently referred to as “Miracle Mineral Solution” or “MMS.”

"After the seller refused to take corrective action, a federal court issued a preliminary injunction requiring the seller to immediately stop distributing its unproven and potentially dangerous product,” FDA said in a press release.

FDA has also discovered hundreds of fraudulent drugs, testing kits and personal protective equipment (PPE) sold online with unproven claims.

“We continue to work with online marketplaces, domain name registrars, payment processors and social media websites to remove from their platforms products that fraudulently claim to mitigate, prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure COVID-19 and to keep those products from reappearing under different names,” the agency said.

“While we seek to ensure access to critical medical products, it is imperative that we continue our efforts to find and prevent the sale and distribution of products that may be harmful to the public health. Americans can rest assured that we’re leveraging our experience investigating, examining, and reviewing medical products, both at the border and within domestic commerce, to help ensure that the critical resources reaching the frontlines in the battle against COVID-19 are appropriate,” said FDA Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs Judy McMeekin, PharmD.

Related: Drugmaker halts access to COVID drug as FDA approves novel test

FDA is also keeping unproven products out of the country. It recently intercepted and investigated a case of mislabeled COVID-19 “treatment kits” offered for import.

“As a result, special agents with the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations, with the help of domestic and international law enforcement counterparts in the United Kingdom, led the Department of Justice to bring a criminal complaint against a British man who sought to profit from this pandemic and jeopardize public health,” the FDA said.

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