(KION) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration along with the Monterey County Health Department is warning that some people and even some companies are trying to profit from the Covid-19 pandemic by selling unproven and illegally marketed products claiming to be effective against the coronavirus.
These fraudulent products claim to cure, treat, or prevent COVID-19 and have not been evaluated by the FDA for safety and effectiveness and may actually be dangerous.
The FDA is particularly concerned these deceptive and misleading products might cause Americans to delay or stop appropriate medical treatment, leading to serious and life-threatening harm.
The FDA has also seen unauthorized fraudulent test kits for COVID-19 being sold online. Currently, the only way to be tested for COVID-19 is to talk to your health care provider.
There is no at-home test that has been authorized by the FDA. There are also currently no vaccines to prevent or drugs to treat COVID-19 approved by the FDA. The FDA is working with medical product developers to rapidly advance the development and availability of vaccines and treatments for COVID-19.
The FDA released some tips to identify false or misleading claims, including:
- 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.
If you are dealing with symptoms of COVID-19, follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines, and speak to your medical provider.
Recently, the FDA and the Federal Trade Commission issued warning letters to seven companies for selling fraudulent COVID-19 products. The products cited include teas, essential oils, tinctures, and colloidal silver.
The FDA has been working with retailers to remove dozens of misleading products from store shelves and online. The agency will continue to monitor social media and online marketplaces promoting and selling fraudulent COVID-19 products.