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FDA, EMA warns for fake medicines

Due to the new coronavirus outbreak, fraudulent business claim they have the cure to COVID are popping up rapidly. Both the FDA and the EMA are urging everyone to not buy medicines from unauthorised websites.

Unauthorised sources like these say their products can treat or prevent COVID-19, together with a myriad of other benefits. Another way is claiming to have easy access to otherwise hard to get medicines, or medicines who are not readily available. Products like these are likely to be fake, often referred to as falsified medicines.

Website first seem to be trustworthy or authorised. However, they may contain fake, impure or wrongly measured ingredients. Sometimes, they contain harmful ingredients that should not be used in medicines at all. Taking vitamins, supplements or medicines like these can lead to severe health problems, or a worsening of your condition.

How can I protect myself from fake medicines?

  • Only buy from your local pharmacy or a registered online pharmacy (EU)
  • There is no cure yet for COVID-19. Medicines advertised to do so, are per definition fake.
  • Always discuss with your clinician when you want to use a medicine.
  • Next to falsified medicines, there are cases of false testing kits reported.
  • Create a small stock of medicine in case of a medicine shortage.

Always remember that there is currently no treatment or vaccine for COVID-19. Medicines that are available, are used to treat symptoms such as fever. When infected with the coronavirus, your pharmacist or clinician will decide what medication is best for you.

On the website of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency you can find more information about fake, fraudulent or falsified medicine.