UK medicines and medical devices regulator investigating 14 cases of fake or unlicensed COVID-19 medical products Image: AdobeStock_87212890

Including self-testing kits, ‘miracle cures’ and ‘antiviral misting sprays’ 

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is investigating websites that are claiming their medical products treat or prevent COVID-19.

The MHRA handles the regulation of all medicines and medical devices in the UK.

It says that no medicines are currently licensed specifically for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19. Also, there isn’t any CE marked self-testing kits approved for home use.

The MHRA has disabled nine domain names and social media accounts selling fake or unauthorised COVID-19 products. Lynda Scammell, MHRA enforcement official, said:

“Don’t be fooled by online offers for medical products to help prevent or treat COVID-19

“There is no medicine licensed specifically to treat or prevent COVID-19, therefore any 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 the product and this poses a risk to your health.

“The risk of buying medicines and medical devices from unregulated websites are that you just don’t know what you will receive and could be putting your health at risk.

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

#FakeMeds campaign

This advice is part of the MHRA’s ongoing #FakeMeds campaign. This aims to reduce the harm caused by purchasing fake, unlicensed or counterfeit medical products online.

Previous phases of the campaign have focused on fake erectile dysfunction medicines, dodgy diet pills and fake self-testing STI kits. Follow #FakeMeds on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

To stay safe when buying medicines and medical devices, 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 the MHRA’s safety monitoring system – the Yellow Card Scheme.

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau is also seeing reports from victims who have lost money when they have tried to purchase PPE or self-testing kits from fraudulent websites.

If you think you have been a victim of fraud, please report it to Action Fraud or by calling 0300 123 2040.