Hand Sanitizer Surplus Leads FDA to End Temporary Covid Rules
(Bloomberg) -- U.S. regulators are ending temporary policies that allowed more companies to produce hand sanitizer at the height of the pandemic, saying there’s no longer a shortage.
Companies making sanitizers or alcohol for use in hand sanitizers under the temporary rules have until the end of the year to stop manufacturing and until March 31 to distribute their remaining supply. After March, the Food and Drug Administration says it will resume its normal policies of regulatory enforcement as it pertains to hand sanitizers.
The move is another small sign that life in the U.S. is returning to normal even as Covid-19 rages in other parts of the world. Hand sanitizer was one of the first products to disappear from shelves last year and continued to be popular even after studies suggested the virus was more likely to be transmitted through the air than from surfaces.
Distilleries, breweries and perfume companies pivoted to help meet demand with the help of the FDA easing its rules for hand sanitizer, which is normally regulated as an over-the-counter drug.
Surveys showed that supply disruptions for hospitals have decreased significantly, and reports indicate a surplus of hand sanitizer products at retailers, the FDA said.
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