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Health Canada warns of fake COVID-19 test kits after some found in Ontario

Written by Javed Iqbal

Health Canada is asking Canadians to be on the lookout for fake COVID-19 rapid test kits after some were found in Ontario.

In a statement issued on Friday, the health agency said fake Rapid Response test kits had been sold online.

The fake kits apparently come from one manufacturer – “Health Advance Inc.” — whose name and number are stuck on the box. The online distributor that sold them was “Healthful Plus.”

However, an authentic kit box is sealed with a clear sticker in blue writing that reads “QC APPROVED.”

It appears the manufacturer is no longer making the kits and the distributor’s website is no longer active, Health Canada said.

The counterfeit kit displays Health Advance’s name and phone number along with the text ‘Official Canadian Distributor’ and unauthorized text ‘Health Canada Approved’ on the box. (Submitted by Health Canada)

The entire shipment, which contained 435 boxes of 25-pack kits, was purchased by a buyer for personal use and was later sent to Health Canada.

The Board of Health says it has no evidence to suggest additional counterfeit kits have been distributed in Canada.

Although they look like authentic test kits, these fakes come in a green box, but the labeling is inaccurate, inconsistent and shows a company that Health Canada says does not have the necessary license to import, distribute or sell medical devices in the country.

An authentic kit includes test cassettes, tube rack, assay buffer, swabs, procedure card and package insert as shown here. Not shown here: exhaust pipes and nozzle filters. (Submitted by Health Canada)

Health Canada has also not tested the safety and effectiveness of the fake kits, the release said. If a kit is suspected to be fake, people should not use it, dispose of it and report it to Health Canada, the agency said.

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Javed Iqbal

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