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Sunday 3 December 2023 Dublin: 4°C

Public warned not to buy fake medicines that claim to treat or prevent coronavirus

The European Medicines Agency said these falsified medicines can cause serious harm.

THE EUROPEAN MEDICINES Agency (EMA) has urged the general public not to buy medicines from unauthorised website and other vendors that are “aiming to exploit fears and concerns” during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The EMA warned that vendors may claim their products can treat or prevent Covid-19 ot may appear to provide easy access to legitimate medicines that are otherwise not readily available.

“Such products are likely to be falsified medicines,” the EMA said today.

These medicines may contain the wrong or no active ingredient, or the right ingredient but in the wrong amount.

“They may also contain very harmful substances that should not be in medicines. Taking such products can lead to severe health problems or a worsening of your condition.”

Yesterday the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) also issued a warning to consumers in relation to a website that is selling products such as hand sanitisers in Ireland. The watchdog said these products were “not fit for purpose”. 

Registered pharmacies

People have been advised to only buy medicines from a local pharmacy or retailer, or from an online pharmacy that is registered with the national competent authorities.

All registered online pharmacies have a common logo which you can use to confirm that the site is registered.

clock to verify EMA This is the logo that will appear on websites of registered online pharmacies in the EU. EMA

Before buying a medicine from a site, check that the site has the logo and then click on it. You will then be taken to the website of your national authority and shown a list of all legally operating online pharmacies.

Check that the online pharmacy you have visited is listed there before continuing with your purchase. If it is not listed, do not buy any medicine from that site.


“The public is reminded that there are currently no treatments authorised for COVID-19, the EMA said.

“Medicines are available for treating symptoms such as fever in line with advice from your doctor or pharmacist.”

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