MedTech Europe statement concerning protective equipment: Warning against counterfeit products, fraudulent web activity and falsified or misleading certificates
Posted on 29.10.2020
The use of protective equipment such as personal protective equipment (PPE) or consumable medical devices including masks, respirators, gloves and gowns remains critical in protecting against the transmission of COVID-19.
As the demand for protective equipment skyrocketed since the outbreak of COVID-19, it is important to recognise that the pandemic has also given rise to fraudulent suppliers, counterfeit products, falsified or misleading certificates, or entities willing to exploit the current situation. Panic buying without proper vetting of the provider unintentionally increases the risk of falling a victim to fraud or acquiring counterfeited products.
Several MedTech Europe members producing protective equipment have confirmed receiving multiple reports of fraudulently labelled products offered for sale, fake documents being presented as proof of compliance or fraudulent websites that appear very similar to those of reputable manufacturers. Therefore, MedTech Europe would like to raise awareness about the risk of fraud and the risk of acquiring products of substandard quality that do not meet the required safety and performance standards.
MedTech Europe denounces practices that jeopardise the safety and performance of protective equipment and any fraudulent activities. Protective equipment is essential in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and MedTech Europe’s members work relentlessly to ensure the supply of PPE and medical devices that protect the user and the patient against health and safety risks. To ensure due diligence and security of the supply chains, MedTech Europe encourages companies to take all necessary steps to help prevent counterfeit or substandard products from getting into the supply chains. In the case of imported products, it is particularly important that importers and distributors verify the documentation accompanying the products.
To avoid falling a victim of fraud or acquiring counterfeited products, MedTech Europe recommends buyers of protective equipment/PPE to pay attention to the reliability of sales channels and producers. In particular, attention should be paid to any signs or suspicions of fraudulent activity or fraudulently labelled products. In case of suspicion of any fraudulent activity, buyers should contact the manufacturer directly and request them to certify the authenticity of the products that are being offered to purchase.
For more information on the role of protective equipment in the COVID-19 pandemic, please read our document on Protective Equipment in the Context of COVID-19.