UPDATED: FDA issues consumer warning on fake Ebola drugs
UPDATE: The World Health Organization (WHO) is echoing the FDA's call for caution when it comes to fraudulent Ebola products and treatment claims. The agency said on Friday morning that two people in Nigeria have died after drinking salt water that was falsely rumored to protect against Ebola.
- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers not to believe scammers attempting to hawk fake Ebola medications online.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) endorsed using experimental and untested Ebola treatments on infected patients this week. The epidemic has already killed more than 1,000 people in West Africa.
- CA-based Mapp Biopharmaceutical has already run out of available doses of its Ebola drug, ZMapp, and the Canadian government is donating between 800 and 1,000 doses of an experimental Ebola vaccine to West Africa.
Once again, online scammers are taking advantage of a public health emergency to bilk unsuspecting people. The FDA has reportedly received multiple complaints about fake Ebola products. In a statement, the agency emphasized that none of the experimental Ebola treatments being used today are available for purchase on the Internet.
"Individuals promoting these unapproved and fraudulent products must take immediate action to correct or remove these claims or face potential FDA action," said the FDA on its website.
The FDA conducts, on average, more than 20 investigations per year into counterfeit drugs.