More and more reports of falsified COVID-19 medical products are emerging on a nearly daily basis from all around the world.
The World Health Organization (WHO) also just issued a falsified medical product alert for falsified chloroquine products circulating in Cameroon, Niger and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The drug, originally to treat malaria, has been identified as a potential coronavirus treatment, however there is no scientific proof of its effectiveness and safety yet.
On the Fight the Fakes social media platforms, most notably Twitter, we have been increasingly vocal about fake medical products being advertised for COVID-19.
To increase our awareness raising efforts, we have produced dedicated COVID-19 & #fakemeds social media cards – please circulate these as widely as possible throughout your network and support our efforts to keep the public safe from fraudulent medicines!
Please also find our official Fight the Fakes statement on COVID-19 here – available in both English and French!
An overview of our members’ efforts against COVID-19 is accessible here!
Below you can also find an overview of reports of counterfeit COVID-19 products, including medicines, vaccines, cures, and diagnostic test kits – we will continuously update the list with new reports.
Fake COVID-19 medical products around the world
- India: The Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy (FICCI CASCADE) jointly with the Transnational Alliance to Combat Illicit Trade (TRACIT), has issued a statement warning consumers about the risks and growing availability of fake COVID19 medical products
- India: Two doctors jailed for selling fake COVID-19 drugs in Maharashtra
- India: Politicians have touted cow urine as a viable cure for COVID-19.
- Bangladesh: 2 jailed for selling fake coronavirus vaccine in Tangail
- Thailand: Fake COVID-19 testing kits
- Cambodia: Unregistered COVID-19 rapid test kits and medicines being sold in the market
- Pakistan: The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan has issued a safety alert and asked people to refrain from chloroquine following a falsified medical alert.
- Iraq: ‘Fake news’ spreads around coronavirus treatments
- Iran: 44 people died from drinking toxic alcohol after a coronavirus cure rumour
- United Arab Emirates: Police confiscated 1,800 fake sanitisers, and 200 boxes of fake medication to sell as coronavirus treatments
- Madagascar: Politicians have began distributing herbal tea as a COVID-19 cure
- Niger/ Cameroon/ Congo: Falsified chloroquine products (WHO falsified medical product alert)
- Cameroon: Fake chloroquine was seized from at least 300 pharmacies and hospitals
- Nigeria: Fake Covid-19 cures soar as social media companies battle to keep up
- Uganda: Father and daughter under investigation for allegedly giving people a fake COVID-19 vaccine
- Ghana: Predicted increase in falsified and substandard medicines due to the pandemic; the FDA already seized substandard hand-sanitisers.
- Scammers ‘threaten and coerce’ Australians to buy fake COVID-19 vaccine
- Criminal groups are offering unproven treatments for Covid-19 on the dark web, including vials of blood from recovered patients and samples of vaccines that are still under clinical testing
- Spain: Spanish Agency for Medication and Health Products released a warning about treating the coronavirus with counterfeit drugs bought from illegal websites
- Netherlands: The Healthcare and Youth Inspectorate warned Netherlands consumers to be careful of medicines advertised to work against the coronavirus Covid-19
- United States: FBI arrests man for hawking fake ‘coronavirus prevention pill’
- United States: FDA warns consumers against fraudulent coronavirus tests, vaccines and treatments
- United States: FDA issued a temporary injunction against a company selling bleach as a “miracle cure” for coronavius