Coronavirus: Bay Area company slammed for false claims in sales of unauthorized COVID-19 home test kits

ByRenee Koury KGO logo
Tuesday, April 7, 2020
Bay Area company slammed for false claims about at-home COVID-19 tests
Yikon Genomics in Foster City was hit with a lawsuit by the city of Los Angeles for falsely claiming their at-home coronavirus test kits were FDA-approved.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Coronavirus scams are spreading as fast as the virus itself. Today, a local company was accused of selling unauthorized novel coronavirus test kits, falsely claiming they were FDA approved.

This is one of many sales pitches you might get -- and authorities want you to beware. There are exactly zero at-home test kits that have U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval.

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The city attorney in Los Angeles filed the suit against Yikon Genomics in Foster City. It's a gene sequencing company based in China. The suit says Yikon offered an at-home test kit for $39. It claimed you could test yourself using a finger-stick blood test. And it claimed it was FDA approved. Again, the FDA has not approved a single at-home test kit.

"Let's be clear. The FDA has not approved any test kit that can be used at home to detect the COVID-19 virus,'' Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer said. "If consumers have a home test kit that hasn't been approved by the FDA and is not likely to work properly, they may not get reliable results and they may unknowingly expose this virus to others. The defendants claim these test kits can be used to confidently screen for the presence of antibodies in the bloodstream, making it possible to detect current virus infections from COVID-19. Its Twitter account shared a link of a Wall Street Journal article and the link misleadingly stated, 'Our COVID-19 test kit is now FDA approved.' But that is not true, nor was that stated in the article," Feuer said.

The company agreed immediately to remove the ads and reimburse anyone who purchased one.

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In a statement, Yikon said it is "committed to complying with all state & federal laws and regulations regarding the marketing & sale of medical devices. We intend to pursue FDA approval for the market & sale of COVID-19 test kits, which we hope will aid in mitigating this global health crisis."

Authorities have warned about many scams that have spread quickly during the pandemic. 7 On Your Side be showing you all week what to watch out for.

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