Tags: Coronavirus | Coronavirus Special | Health Topics | hand sanitizer | pandemic | fda | alcohol

FDA's High Hand Sanitizer Standard Comes Under Fire

a hand washes his hands under a faucet with soap and water
(Patrick Pleul/AP)

By    |   Saturday, 28 March 2020 10:43 AM

With a number of U.S. alcohol distilleries jumping in on producing hand sanitizers for medical personnel, the FDA has issued guidance for non-drug companies on its proper standards.

But the regulations are acting as a restriction on the amount of hand sanitizer being made available to the public, according to former FDA staffer and now FDA regulation hawk Richard Williams in an opinion piece to The Hill.

"The same problem applies to the FDA's requirement of 94.9%-grade alcohol," Williams wrote. "The WHO requires only 80%, which is itself far more than the 60% minimum to be effective. Not only can many distillers not meet the FDA's high requirement, but that high of an alcohol content is harsh on skin.

"The problem here is that the FDA seems unable to move outside of its own comfort zone of highly precautionary standards — even when lives are at stake."

Even many less critical of big government, red tape, and bureaucracy are jumping in to criticize the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for restrictive standards on hand sanitizers amid the global coronavirus pandemic.

"It remains to be seen how many distilleries will provide hand sanitizers, but we need fewer roadblocks," Williams wrote. "Alcohol manufacturers have been reluctant to go around the FDA, once called the 'most powerful regulatory agency in the world.'

"This is precisely the right time for elected leaders to step in and make decisions that are more in accordance with what is happening right now – what is needed urgently by the people they represent – and find a solution. After the crisis is over, they can go back and figure out whether we should return to a more precautionary standard, or they can look at where we may have gone wrong."

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Many people less critical of big government, red tape, and bureaucracy are jumping in to criticize the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for restrictive standards on hand sanitizers amid the global coronavirus pandemic.
hand sanitizer, pandemic, fda, alcohol, distilleries
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2020-43-28
Saturday, 28 March 2020 10:43 AM
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