CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina woman has been accused of peddling a fake COVID-19 cure during the height of the pandemic and continuing to offer it despite warnings to stop.
Diana Daffin, 68, the owner of a holistic health business, was arrested outside her Charlotte home in May after she shipped the supposed coronavirus remedy to an undercover agent in New Hampshire, according to a Food and Drug Administration news release.
In March 2020, the FDA learned that Daffin was selling an unapproved drug on her website with the brand name HAMPL. She claimed it was a COVID-19 remedy and treatment. The next month, the FDA sent Daffin and the Australian drug manufacturer a warning letter explaining that the HAMPL COVID-19 drug Daffin was selling was “an adulterated, misbranded, and unapproved drug” and she should correct the violation. Daffin told the agency that she removed the product from her website.
That August of 2020, the FDA sent Daffin a second warning letter, to which she replied that she would shut down her website while working to replace her product line. The complaint alleges that Daffin continued to sell unapproved HAMPL brand drugs by moving them to a password protected website.
According to the complaint, an undercover agent later contacted Daffin by email, and she provided the password to the website. The undercover agent purchased several unapproved HAMPL brand drugs listed in the August 2020 warning letter. The labels promised "immunity" from the coronavirus.
Last week, a magistrate judge in U.S. District Court in Concord, New Hampshire, ruled that Daffin could remain free on charges of violating the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act until another hearing in August, according to court records reviewed by The Charlotte Observer.