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Infarmed warns of fake tests of COVID-19 for sale on the internet

Infarmed warned today of the existence of rapid tests of fake Covid-19 in the European market and warned that they can only be made available by authorized manufacturers and distributors, and that they should not be purchased on the internet. The sale of medicines online is a major concern of the authorities and just yesterday the anti-counterfeiting Group mentioned in its report that the Customs Delegation of Lisbon Postal Orders seized in 2019 several medicines, in a total of 7.433 medicine shipments, of which 2.127 were seized and destroyed (61,750 units), most of which were made by private individuals over the internet.

In a note published on its website, the National Authority for Medicines and Health Products says that, to date, no counterfeit tests have been detected in Portugal and recalls that tests of the kind have been found on the European market which, despite having the CE indication as security symbol, present "false documentation, incomplete documentation or unsubstantiated claims".

Some medical devices of this kind have also been detected in the European market, which "indicate a use in the professional, namely, which are intended for self-diagnosis without complying with the legislation applicable to that purpose", he adds.

Infarmed, which has participated in the European Commission working group that has been analyzing the Covid-19 rapid tests on the European market, recalls that these devices can only be made available "by duly notified manufacturers and wholesale distributors (…), in accordance with applicable law ".

It also advises consumers and other non-professional users not to buy quick tests for Covid-19 over the internet or any other way and says that, regarding the diagnosis of the disease, the recommendations of the Directorate-General for Health should be followed, stressing that these tests are, as a rule, less mobile and sensitive than the diagnostic tests carried out in the laboratory, with specific equipment and reagents.

The organization recalls that international organizations such as the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) – the American regulatory agency – and the World Health Organization (WHO) have already warned of the availability of fraudulent, falsified and unauthorized diagnostic tests of Covid-19 .

"For the reasons mentioned above, the European Commission and the Competent Authorities, in line with the European Commission's Communication of 15 April, are undertaking various activities with the aim of ensuring the availability of safe and effective devices on the market for carrying out the tests. for Covid-19 ", adds Infarmed.

In Portugal, the most recent official data indicate that 1,144 people died out of the 27,679 confirmed as infected by Covid-19 and 2,549 cases recovered.

The Covid-19 pandemic has already claimed more than 283,000 deaths and infected more than 4.1 million people worldwide. Nearly 1.4 million patients were considered cured by the health authorities.