Washington – The coronavirus vaccine that is close to being approved in the United States is eagerly awaited by a weary population yearning for a way back to normal life, but criminals are also waiting, ready to capitalize on this desperation, federal investigators warned.
Homeland Security researchers work with Pfizer, Moderna and dozens of other competing drug companies to develop and distribute the vaccine and treatments against the new coronavirus. The goal: prepare for the scams to come, especially after this year’s mess of illicit activity with fake personal protection gear, bogus cures, and extortion schemes.
“We are all very excited about the vaccine and the potential treatments,” said Steve Francis, deputy director of global trade research for the Homeland Security Investigations agency. “But I also warn against those criminal organizations and individuals who will try to deceive the American people.”RELATED
No vaccine has yet been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which has licensed the first treatment for COVID-19: the antiviral drug remdesivir. Regarding vaccines and treatments, he has warned about the possibility of fraud.
“The FDA is particularly concerned that these deceptive products could cause Americans to delay or interrupt proper medical treatment, leading to serious and even fatal harm,” the agency said in a recent statement.
Pharmaceutical companies are required to have security and protection devices in place to help prevent fraud, but that will probably not be available until the second generation of vaccines, since everything is being operated on an emergency basis, stressed Karen Gardner, chief Marketing Officer at SIPCA North America, a company that works as a liaison between government, business, and consumers. Gardner added that this makes it more important to educate healthcare providers about what real drugs look like.
“When you have something in high demand and in limited stocks, there is going to be fraud,” he said. Desperation will drive people around the normal roads.
Meanwhile, researchers are learning how the vaccine will be packaged and spreading the word to agents in the field, creating a huge database with information from more than 200 companies, in order to be prepared to detect counterfeit products and stop potentially dangerous fraud. and lethal.