ASOP Global Urges Consumers to Remain Aware of COVID-19 Fraud
As New Vaccines and Diagnostics Come to Market, Fraud and Misinformation is Expected to Grow
WASHINGTON – December 11, 2020 – In response to the anticipated emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for several COVID-19 vaccines and availability of a direct-to-consumer COVID-19 test system, the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global) issued the following statement:
This week, governments around the world took substantial steps to address the continued burden of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yesterday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) came to a favorable outcome on one vaccine candidate’s application for an emergency use authorization (EUA) with FDA approving its application today. A second such meeting is scheduled for December 17th with a promise for another favorable determination. Health Canada, too, authorized its first COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday following approval by UK medicine regulators on December 2.
Also this week, the U.S. FDA announced the availability of the country’s first authorized direct-to-consumer (non-prescription) diagnostic test for COVID-19. The home sample collection kit will be made available online or through brick-and-mortar retailers.
With legitimate COVID-19 treatments, tests, and vaccines coming to market, it is now more imperative than ever for providers, patients, and procurement departments to buy from trusted, authorized sources and beware of online fraudsters. As INTERPOL, the World Health Organization, U.S. FDA, and many other governments have warned, buying COVID-19 products from unknown online sellers and “grey market” supply chains threaten the safety and efficacy of these much-needed therapies.
ASOP Global echoes this warning as we continue to observe a thriving illegal online market for counterfeit, substandard, and falsified COVID-19 related treatments, tests, and vaccines. ASOP Global anticipates that criminals will seek to profit from the FDA’s authorization of the direct-to-consumer diagnostics by offering counterfeit versions to scared and desperate patients via online marketplaces, social media, and websites. Indeed, in June, the U.S. FDA issued warning letters to manufacturers for adulterated and misbranded COVID-19 test kits. Sadly, we expect the counterfeit market to continue to proliferate as the pandemic wages on.
All year ASOP Global has been vocal about the threats of online criminals seeking to profit from the pandemic. ASOP Global urges consumers to be wary of deals that may be “too good to be true,” “miracle cures” or seem inconsistent with the information put forth by the FDA and other federal agency leaders. ASOP Global’s website has resources to help consumers be vigilant and stay safe.
ABOUT ASOP GLOBAL
The Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global), a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. with activities in U.S., Canada, Europe, Latin America and Asia, is dedicated to protecting consumers around the world, ensuring safe access to medications, and combating illegal online drug sellers