Miracle cures? UK investigators go after fake coronavirus medicines

FILE PHOTO: A computer image created by Nexu Science Communication together with Trinity College in Dublin, shows a model structurally representative of a betacoronavirus which is the type of virus linked to COVID-19, better known as the coronavirus linked to the Wuhan outbreak, shared with Reuters on February 18, 2020. NEXU Science Communication/via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) – British authorities said on Saturday they were clamping down on bogus cures for the coronavirus, which currently has no specific licensed treatment.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said it was investigating 14 fake or unlicensed products to treat COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus.

So far 3,605 Britons have died from the coronavirus, the latest data show, and experts have said deaths will continue to rise until the effect of recent lockdown measures filter through and slow the spread of the disease in the coming weeks.

MHRA said it was investigating fake self-testing kits, miracle cures and so-called “antiviral misting sprays”.

“Don’t be fooled by online offers for medical products to help prevent or treat COVID-19,” Lynda Scammell, MHRA enforcement official said.

“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.”

Scammell added that MHRA was working alongside law enforcement agencies to combat the spread of fake and unlicensed medical products.

Reporting by Andy Bruce; editing by William James

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