FDA and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued warning letters to seven companies for selling fraudulent COVID-19 products. The products are unapproved drugs that pose significant risks to patient health and violate federal law. FDA and FTC are taking this action as part of their response in protecting Americans during the global COVID-19 outbreak. The warning letters are the first to be issued by FDA for unapproved products intended to prevent or treat novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“FDA considers the sale and promotion of fraudulent COVID-19 products to be a threat to the public health. We have an aggressive surveillance program that routinely monitors online sources for health fraud products, especially during a significant public health issue such as this one,” says FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, MD. “We understand consumers are concerned about the spread of COVID-19 and urge them to talk to their healthcare providers, as well as follow advice from other federal agencies about how to prevent the spread of this illness. We will continue to aggressively pursue those that place the public health at risk and hold bad actors accountable.”
“There already is a high level of anxiety over the potential spread of coronavirus,” says FTC Chairman Joe Simons. “What we don’t need in this situation are companies preying on consumers by promoting products with fraudulent prevention and treatment claims. These warning letters are just the first step. We’re prepared to take enforcement actions against companies that continue to market this type of scam.”
FDA is particularly concerned that products that claim to cure, treat, or prevent serious diseases like COVID-19 may cause consumers to delay or stop appropriate medical treatment, leading to serious and life-threatening harm.
FDA and FTC jointly issued warning letters to Vital Silver, Quinessence Aromatherapy, Xephyr (doing business as N-Ergetics), GuruNanda, Vivify Holistic Clinic, Herbal Amy, and the Jim Bakker Show. The products cited in the warning letters are teas, essential oils, tinctures, and colloidal silver. FDA has previously warned that colloidal silver is not safe or effective for treating any disease or condition.
To read more, visit FDA.