US flag Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

CBP seizes unauthorized COVID-19 medication at Port of Seattle

Release Date: 
May 28, 2020

SEATTLE — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seized 360 pills Wednesday of unauthorized influenza treatments being marketed to treat COVID-19.

Fake COVID-19 pills
CBP officers in Seattle seized a shipment of
unauthorized COVID-19 medication on Wednesday.

In addition to their role as enforcers of Customs and Immigration regulations, CBP officers and agriculture specialists actively enforce more than 400 laws and regulations for 40 government agencies.  This includes enforcing U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) statues, such as preventing unauthorized medical treatments that may mislead consumers by falsely claiming to treat or prevent diseases or may in fact harm the consumer.

The use of unauthorized medications can give consumers a false sense of security and could prove fatal. Unauthorized products that claim to cure, treat or prevent serious illnesses such as COVID-19 may cause individuals to delay or stop appropriate medical treatment, leading to serious harm.

Stopping the flow of harmful products is a priority trade issue for CBP.  The importation of harmful products can damage the U.S. economy and threaten the health and safety of the American people.  CBP, both with this seizure and on a daily basis, works with FDA to protect U.S. consumers from fake and harmful medications.  This partnership extends beyond excluding prohibited items into ensuring timely screening of compliant items and active communication to address importer questions and concerns. 

“We show vigilance in carrying out our mission to protect the American public, whether it be terrorist weapons or dangerous medications,” Seattle Area Port Director Clay Thomas said. “The men and women of CBP value our enforcement partnerships and are proud to work with the dedicated FDA team to further protect the public.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has direct responsibility for enhancing U.S. economic competitiveness. By reducing costs for industry and enforcing trade laws against counterfeit, unsafe, and fraudulently entered goods, CBP is working to enable legitimate trade, contribute to American economic prosperity, and protect against risks to public health and safety.

Last modified: 
May 28, 2020
Tags: