Toronto

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

In a public advisory statement, the health agency said it learned that counterfeit BTNX Rapid Response COVID-19 antigen rapid test kits were sold online.

Counterfeit kits have varying contents; not licensed by Health Canada

Counterfeit kits, when opened, have varying contents as seen in this photo. (Submitted by Health Canada)

Health Canada is asking Canadians to look out for fake COVID-19 rapid test kits, after some were found in Ontario.

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

The fake kits seemingly come from one manufacturer — "Health Advance Inc." — whose name and number is stickered on the box. The online distributor selling them was "Healthful Plus."

However, an authentic kit box is sealed with a clear sticker with blue lettering that says "QC APPROVED."

The manufacturer appears to no longer be making the kits, and the distributor's website is no longer active, Health Canada said.

On the counterfeit kit, Health Advance's name and phone number along with text 'Official Canadian Distributor' and unauthorized text 'Health Canada Approved' appear on the box. (Submitted by Health Canada)

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

The health agency says it has no evidence to suggest that additional counterfeit kits have been distributed in Canada.

Though similar to authentic test kits, these fake ones come in a green box but the labelling is inaccurate, inconsistent, and lists a company that Health Canada says does not have the required licence to import, distribute or sell medical devices in the country.

An authentic kit will include test cassettes, tube stand, assay buffer, swabs, procedure card and package insert, as shown here. Not shown here: extraction tubes and nozzle filters. (Submitted by Health Canada)

Health Canada has also not tested the safety and effectiveness of the fake kits, it said in the advisory. 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.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now