PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Scammers are always searching for new ways to prey on people’s misery.
The latest attempt has caught the attention of the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA has previously warned of unauthorized coronavirus tests that can be taken and processed at home.
Now, the FDA is warning consumers about bogus vaccines and treatments being sold online.
“It’s sad, it’s tragic and it’s dangerous,” said Dr. Michael Lynch, the medical director at the Pittsburgh Poison Center.
The FDA and Federal Trade Commission have issued several warnings to companies selling products marketed to cure, treat and prevent COVID-19. Many of the miracle drugs are being sold in the form of teas, essential oils, herbals and silver supplements.
Officials say none of which have been FDA approved to improve medical outcomes. According to health experts, they can be health hazardous individually or when combined with other medications.
“There are all sorts of herbals that are used in teas which can cause liver disease, for instance, or other toxicities or seizures,” said Dr. Lynch.
Other harmful ingredients include those marketed for “veterinary” or “research” use only.
Some people are reportedly consuming chloroquine phosphate, which is commonly used to clean fish tanks, according to experts.
“We know about a couple who died in March because of exposure to fish tank chloroquine products because they were trying to take it to treat coronavirus and died from toxicity,” said Dr. Lynch.
Currently, Remdesivir is the only non-emergency FDA approved treatment for coronavirus, which “seemed to shorten the duration of illness and the time people spent in the hospital,” said Dr. Lynch.
If you see any other too-good-to-be-true treatments promising a quick fix, you should look closely at all the details.
The FDA is working with dozens of retailers to remove misleading products from the internet and store shelves. Security has also been boosted at ports of entry to ensure that they do not come through U.S. borders.
If you think you have fallen victim to any of these fake coronavirus products, you should contact the Pittsburgh Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222. You can also report the sale of unlawful medical products to the FDA by clicking here.