The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Department of Justice, and the office of the New York Attorney General are cracking down on companies and individuals selling fraudulent vaccines and cures for the coronavirus (COVID-19). Now the FDA is targeting companies selling fraudulent test kits.
“We want to alert the American public that, at this time, the FDA has not authorized any test that is available to purchase for testing yourself at home for COVID-19,” the agency said in a news release. “Fraudulent health claims, tests, and products can pose serious health risks. They may keep some patients from seeking care or delay necessary medical treatment.”
According to STAT, at least four startups are planning to launch at-home COVID-19 test kits, which they plan to sell online for between $150 and $200. The companies had hoped to capitalize on the government’s loosening of regulations to allow desperately needed test kits on the market. But at-home test kits were not included in the so-called Emergency Use Authorization.
Consumers with symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever, fatigue, and dry cough, should talk to their doctors to see if they should get tested and find out the process for receiving the appropriate test.
Not only has the FDA issued warning letters to companies and individuals promoting or selling fraudulent COVID-19 cures, vaccines, or diagnostic tests, the agency is also stepping up enforcement at ports of entry, including International Mail Facilities, to ensure fraudulent products that originate outside the United States do not enter the country.