Regulator clamps down on bogus coronavirus products

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has revealed it is investigating 14 cases of fake or unlicensed COVID-19 medical products.

These include self-testing kits, ‘miracle cures’, ‘antiviral misting sprays’, and unlicensed medicines.

According to the MHRA, it has already disabled nine domain names and social media accounts selling fake or unauthorised COVID-19 products.

The regulator has also reiterated that there are currently no medicines licensed specifically for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19 and there are no CE marked self-testing kits approved for home use.

This advice is part of the MHRA’s ongoing #FakeMeds campaign which aims to encourage people who buy medical products online to make sure they are purchasing from legitimate sources.

Registered online suppliers can be found here. If people suspect they have a dodgy medicine or medical device they can report if via the MHRA’s safety monitoring system – the Yellow Card scheme.

The MHRA said the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau is also seeing reports from victims who have lost money when they have tried to purchase PPE or self-testing kits online, from fraudulent websites, that simply do not exist.

‘Don’t be fooled by online offers for medical products to help prevent or treat COVID-19,’ said MHRA enforcement official, Lynda Scammell. 

‘There is no medicine licensed specifically to treat or prevent COVID-19, therefore any claiming to do so are not authorised and have not undergone regulatory approvals required for sale on the UK market. We cannot guarantee the safety or quality of the product and this poses a risk to your health.

‘The risk of buying medicines and medical devices from unregulated websites are that you just don’t know what you will receive and could be putting your health at risk.

‘We are working alongside other law enforcement agencies to combat this type of criminal activity.’

Photo Credit – TheDigitalArtist (Pixabay)

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