Press release

Senior Enforcement Advisor at UK Medicines Regulator warns against purchasing fake or unlicensed coronavirus (COVID-19) medicines

Lynda Scammell, Senior Enforcement Advisor at the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) today warned the public about medicines and other medical products being sold online claiming to treat or prevent COVID-19.

Covid enforcement

These include products being promoted as ‘miracle cures’, ‘divine cleansing oils’, ‘antiviral misting sprays’, herbal remedies, vitamins and unlicensed anti-viral medicines.

Lynda Scammell, Senior Enforcement Advisor at the MHRA, said:

You may have heard about products claiming to treat or cure COVID-19. At this time there is no medicine licensed specifically to treat or prevent COVID-19.

We want to caution people that products claiming to do so are not authorised and have not undergone regulatory approvals required for sale on the UK market. We cannot guarantee the safety or quality of these products and this poses a risk to your health.

We have been receiving reports of ‘miracle cures’, ‘antiviral misting sprays’, antiviral medicines being sold through websites. Offering to sell unauthorised medicines is against the law.

Don’t be fooled by online offers for medical products to help prevent or treat COVID-19. One of the risks of buying medicines and medical devices from unregulated sources is that you just don’t know what you will receive. You could be risking your health, and this could further spread the virus and increase pressure on our NHS and social care systems.

We are working alongside other law enforcement agencies to combat this type of criminal activity.

This advice is part of the ongoing MHRA #FakeMeds campaign which aims to encourage people who buy medical products online to make sure they are purchasing from legitimate sources.

To stay safe when buying medicines online, the MHRA advises that you purchase from a registered pharmacy – either from the premises or online. Registered online suppliers can be found here. If people suspect they have a dodgy medicine or medical device, they can report if via our safety monitoring system - the Yellow Card scheme.

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Published 7 May 2020