COVID-19: Watch out for illegal online sale

26 March 2020

Unauthorised retailers are illegally selling medicines and self-test kits online by exploiting fears and concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “Extremely unsympathetic and dangerous to people’s lives and well-being,” says the Danish Medicines Agency’s Director General.

Several websites in other countries and a few in Denmark have popped up offering to sell, for example, chloroquine-containing medicines and COVID-19 self-tests with claims that they can treat COVID-19 or tell you if you are infected with the disease. The websites are run by unlawful retailers, and it happens at the cost of people’s health and well-being.

The Danish Medicines Agency is aware of the problem and is continuously monitoring the internet to prevent the illegal sale of medicines and medical devices.

Director General of the Danish Medicines Agency, Thomas Senderovitz, warns against the illegal websites.

“These are people who take advantage of the situation we are in. They are exploiting people’s fear and concerns, and it is extremely unsympathetic. We are therefore keeping an extra watchful eye on the situation to prevent people from being cheated while putting their lives and health at risk, said Thomas Senderovitz.

No licensed medicines for COVID-19 yet

COVID-19 is a new disease for which there is presently no vaccine, and there is no evidence that existing medicines approved for other diseases work and are safe to use against COVID-19.

Drug regulatory authorities around the world are supporting researchers and companies in the fast development of medicines for COVID-19 and are getting ready to facilitate an approval as fast as possible without compromising on safety.

Report suspected illegal sale of medicines

If you suspect that a company, individual or pharmacy is selling counterfeit medicines, you can report it to the Danish Medicines Agency on this form: 

Report suspected illegal activities with medicines (form is in Danish only.

Read more: The Danish Health Authority’sinformation to doctors on the status of possible prevention and treatment of COVID-19 (in Danish only) (20 March).