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The agency is responding to companies promoting and selling medical products that claim, but are unproven, to prevent or treat COVID-19.
In its effort to combat fraudulent medical products that claim to prevent or treat COVID-19, FDA has issued 42 warning letters, as of May 7, 2020, to companies promoting unproven products claiming to prevent, treat, diagnose, or even cure COVID-19. In one case, the company was selling fraudulent chlorine dioxide products as a treatment for the virus. The seller refused to take corrective action, causing a federal court to issue a preliminary injunction.
The agency’s Operation Quack Hack has discovered hundreds of fraudulent drugs, testing kits, and personal protective equipment sold online. FDA has sent numerous abuse complaints to domain name registrars and Internet marketplaces, who the agency says have voluntarily removed the identified postings. “We will continue to monitor the online ecosystem for fraudulent products peddled by bad actors seeking to profit from this global pandemic. We encourage anyone aware of suspected fraudulent medical products for COVID-19 to report them to the FDA,” the agency said in a press release.
“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, Pharm.D., in the press release. “We take seriously our responsibility to determine whether the medical products coming into our country are fraudulent, counterfeit or illegitimate, and take action as needed.”