SEATTLE — Since the beginning of July, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers and Agriculture Specialists in Seattle seized a total of eight shipments of unauthorized influenza treatments being marketed to treat COVID-19.
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 pace of these seizures is increasing in the Seattle area, and the seizures came from both express consignment shipments as well as passengers at the airport and totaled 2,376 pills. The concern with these products is false claims by the manufacturer, leading for the potential for individuals to not seek medical treatment when needed or, even more worrisome, that the non-authorized and non-tested medicine could contain ingredients that make the product harmful to the user. CBP continues its close partnership with FDA to protect U.S. consumers from fake and harmful medications.
“In the midst of the pandemic, it pains me to see companies willing to sell modern day, placebo-effect remedies, just to make some extra money at the expense of the American people. Seattle Area Port Director Clay Thomas said. “CBP works every day to keep American consumers safe from false and misleading medical claims.”