Counterfeit Medicine News for the Week of May 4, 2020

COVID-19 fraud and counterfeits

Federal agencies continue to fight corinavirus scams

At the state level, authorities in Connecticut reported a sharp increase in formal complaints, and Georgia and Maine warned about COVID-19 texting scams. The Washington State Attorney General sent a microbiologist in Seattle a cease and desist letter after he sold (and injected people with) an unlicensed substance he is calling a COVID-19 vaccine. The FDA has not licensed a COVID-19 vaccine.

Elsewhere in the world, regulators in Finland, France, Switzerland and Canada have posted warnings about the fraudulent COVID-19 products. The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre reports that Canadians have lost at least $1.2 million to coronavirus scams.

Policy News

More than 115,000 COVID-19-related website names have been registered since January. Many of those websites are selling black market masks, fake COVID-19 tests or vaccines, and unregulated pharmaceuticals. PSM has launched a campaign to give law enforcement the tools they need to shut down these sites. Learn more and send your own letter to congress.

The New England Journal of Medicine published a perspective by two legal scholars who believe importing drugs from Canada will not lower prices, and may be unlawful.

Other counterfeit drugs in the news


Even as we are dealing with the pandemic, PSM is keeping a steady eye on public reports of dangerous counterfeit drugs. Check back for next week’s summary.