Why the FBI Is Raiding Medspas Offering COVID-19 Treatments

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There have been a lot of news reports released in the last few weeks about what doctors are doing on the frontlines to battle the coronavirus—among those are stories of hospitals using a high dosage of vitamin C as a form of treatment. While researchers are studying the effects of high-dose intravenous vitamin C on the coronavirus, there has been no data to support the notion that vitamin C can prevent or treat COVID-19. That’s why the Federal Bureau of Investigation is cracking down on doctors and medspas offering the supplement to patients as a “preventative” measure, or sometimes as a treatment for patients who aren’t sick enough to warrant hospital care.

In the last week, the FBI has raided Allure Medical Spa in Shelby Township, MI and Allure Medical Spa in Macomb County, GA for allegedly performing fraudulent COVID-19 treatments. We spoke with Detroit plastic surgeon Anthony Youn, MD to get the full story on these high-dose treatments and why consumers should be careful.  

NewBeauty: What advice do you have for patients who might see advertisements from medspas or cosmetic doctors offering COVID high-dose vitamin C infusions as a therapy? 
Dr. Youn: Although IV vitamin C is being used as a high dose antioxidant to support the immune system, and there are scattered reports of its possible utility in assisting patients suffering from COVID-19, currently it is not an approved treatment for COVID-19. 

NB: The purpose of upping our vitamin-C intake is to boost immunity. How can a patient do this without falling victim to a fraudulent treatment? 
Dr. Youn: I believe it’s important for people to be as healthy as possible at this time, therefore eating the right foods, getting good sleep, taking appropriate nutritional supplements, and possibly even IV vitamin C may help support your immune system and your overall health so that if you do get sick, your body may be in a better position to fight off the infection. 

NB: How can a patient protect themselves and ensure they’re seeing a reputable doctor at this time?
Dr. Youn: To my knowledge, your health insurance will not cover non-approved treatments for COVID-19 such as IV vitamin C therapy. If your doctor is planning to bill your insurance for non-approved treatments, then it may be considered fraudulent and you should be very wary. Also, there are so many of us who are scared, both for our health and our finances. If a doctor or health care professional appears to be taking advantage of your fear of getting sick in order to part with your money, then that doctor may not be one you should trust with either.

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