The FDA issued a press release on March 9, 2020 stating, in part: “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued warning letters to seven companies for selling fraudulent COVID-19 products. These products are unapproved drugs that pose significant risks to patient health and violate federal law. The 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 the FDA for unapproved products intended to prevent or treat “Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019” (COVID-19).”
The FDA stated that it 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.
The FDA’s press release, entitled “Coronavirus Update: FDA and FTC Warn Seven Companies Selling Fraudulent Products that Claim to Treat or Prevent COVID-19,” stated: “The 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,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D. “We understand consumers are concerned about the spread of COVID-19 and urge them to talk to their health care 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,” said 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.”
The FDA’s warning letters were sent to Vital Silver, Quinessence Aromatherapy Ltd., Xephyr, LLC doing business as N-Ergetics, GuruNanda, LLC, Vivify Holistic Clinic, Herbal Amy LLC, and The Jim Bakker Show. The products cited in the warning letters are teas, essential oils, tinctures and colloidal silver. The FDA had previously warned that colloidal silver is not safe or effective for treating any disease or condition.
The FDA warns that there are currently no vaccines or drugs approved to treat or prevent COVID-19. Although there are investigational COVID-19 vaccines and treatments under development, these investigational products are in the early stages of product development and have not yet been fully tested for safety or effectiveness.
If you or a loved one have suffered serious harm as a result of coronavirus medical malpractice (COVID-19 medical malpractice) in the United States, you should promptly find a coronavirus medical malpractice lawyer (COVID-19 medical malpractice lawyer) near you who may investigate your COVID-19 medical malpractice claim for you and represent you or your loved one in a coronavirus medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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