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Tristan M Sissung William D Figg


The term “quack” has always been synonymous with shouting about one’s dubious medical remedies in the public marketplace; however, modern quacks amplify their aggressive and deceptive advertising campaigns worldwide using social media and internet-based mechanisms. While many in the United States have suffered significant illness and economic hardship as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic, purveyors of pseudoscientific therapies have enriched themselves. The United States Food and Drug Administration has taken steps to mitigate the claims of over 65 individuals or companies claiming to prevent or treat SARS-CoV2, but this effort has been eclipsed by the sheer number of individuals who continue to surface and exploit public credulity. Moreover, those selling the same types of products and making the same types of claims received FDA warning letters during previous public health crises. The majority of letter recipients were selling products in five categories: colloidal silver, cannabis or related products, essential oils, vitamins, and minerals. Those in the rapidly expanding self-care industry will continue to spread medical caveat emptor both now and during the next pandemic unless the medical community begins directly opposing the normalization of unproven and misleading advertising claims.

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SISSUNG, Tristan M; FIGG, William D. EXPLOITING COVID-19: QUACK-A-MOLE. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 8, n. 8, aug. 2020. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <https://esmed.org/MRA/mra/article/view/2213>. Date accessed: 17 june 2024. doi: https://doi.org/10.18103/mra.v8i8.2213.
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