WASHINGTON (WHSV) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning to the public that they're seeing a lot of reports of fraudulent COVID-19 testing kits.
According to the FDA, they're "aggressively monitoring the market for any firms marketing products with fraudulent coronavirus (COVID-19) diagnostic, prevention and treatment claims."
Government officials say they've begun to see unauthorized, fake test kits being marketed to the public as ways to test for the coronavirus at home.
But, at this time, the FDA has not authorized any test available to purchase for home testing for the virus.
They say they see the value in that possibility, and are actively working with test developers to research the feasibility of at-home testing that could provide safe and accurate results, but no such test has been developed and made available yet.
Any marketing claim you see for an at-home COVID-19 test kit is fraud.
Fraudulent health claims, tests, and products can pose serious health risks, including keeping patients from seeking care and delaying necessary medical treatments.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines and speak to your medical provider, who can give you guidance on whether you should seek testing and treatment.
The FDA says they will "take appropriate action to protect consumers from bad actors who take advantage of a crisis to deceive the public by marketing tests that pose risks to patient health," including issuing warning letters, making seizures, and filing injunctions.
FDA officials say they've already identified several companies that were selling and promoting fraudulent items connected to COVID-19 and issued them warning letters.
They're also stepping up enforcement at ports of entry, where CBP officials have seized a number of fake testing kits over the past week.
If you are aware of any fraudulent testing kits for COVID-19, you can report them to the FDA by emailing FDA-COVID-19-Fraudulent-Products@fda.hhs.gov.