Over the past two years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued more than 250 warning letters to companies and individuals selling “fraudulent and unproven medical products” related to the COVID-19 global health crisis. The agency has worked with retailers and online vendors to target more than 1700 separate products, from unauthorized and unreliable virus test kits to bogus cures, that have little or no proven medical benefit and may harm consumers.
The FDA recently issued an updated alert, reminding the public that the vaccines that have been approved for emergency use remain one of the best ways to protect loved ones against COVID-19. Yet a wide range of questionable products continue to emerge in the marketplace, claiming to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent the virus — but lacking proper evaluation for safety and effectiveness.
The products include teas, essential oils, tinctures, colloidal silver, and compounds intended primarily for veterinary use, including ivermectin (used primarily to treat parasites in livestock) and chloroquine phosphate (used to treat parasites in aquarium fish). A searchable database of the companies involved can be found at the FDA website.
Consumers and health care providers are urged to report suspicious claims and internet virus scams to the FDA’s Health Fraud Program or the Office of Criminal Investigations. In addition to monitoring consumer complaints, the agency is also increasing its presence at ports of entry to prevent fraudulent products from entering the country from abroad. But the best defense against shady COVID-19 treatments is a wary public. The FDA urges consumers to:
- Be suspicious of products that claim to treat a wide range of diseases.
- Remember that personal testimonials are no substitute for scientific evidence.
- Beware of the quick fix, the too-good-to-be-true offer, and “miracle cures” that claim scientific breakthroughs or secret ingredients but are probably a hoax.
For more information on COVID-19, see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and talk to your health care provider or doctor.
THE PRODUCT LIABILITY LAWYERS AT FDAZAR
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries as the result of a defective product, medical device or a dangerous prescription drug, the product liability lawyers at Franklin D. Azar & Associates may be able to help. We have been helping injured people receive the compensation they deserve for more than thirty years. We are currently investigating reports of serious side effects involving the diabetes drug Actos, the chemotherapy drug Tasigna, Zantac and other heartburn drugs, the gout drug Uloric, and several other medications. Call us today at 800-716-9032 or contact us here for a free, no-obligation consultation.