France : ANSM warns against online products being sold as COVID-19 cures

The ANSM (French Agency for the Safety of Health Products and Medicine) has released a statement warning against the dangers of buying online medicines from unapproved websites. The statement flags up certain herbal products, particularly Artemisia annua which is “sold as a dry plant, herbal tea or capsules” and presented as a natural cure for COVID-19. “These claims are false and dangerous: they could lead to a delay in medical assistance which is necessary for confirmed cases. To date, Artemisia annua-based products have not been proven effective for medical use”, said the Medicines and Medical Supplies Agency which has also pointed out that similar messages were spread about this plant’s effects on malaria. “Its efficacy has not been proven for malaria either and patients who took it developed severe forms of malaria when travelling abroad. Because of this, we banned several operators from selling Artemisia annua-based products in 2015 and 2017″.

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