March 20, 2020 / 2:31 PM / 11 days ago

U.S. FDA to relax hand sanitizer regulation as coronavirus hits supply

(Reuters) - The U.S. health regulator said on Friday licensed pharmacists do not need prescriptions to sell alcohol-based hand sanitizers they make, creating more supply for the product that is fast running out at stores because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Food and Drug Administration also said it would not take action against manufacturers that are not regulated by the agency if they made hand sanitizers following certain protocol. (bit.ly/395w1OH)

“We are aware of significant supply disruptions for alcohol-based hand sanitizers,” the agency said in a statement.

Some consumers were attempting to make their own hand sanitizers, the agency said, and raised doubts about the safety of such products on human skin.

The FDA’s guidance to the industry will be in effect for the duration of the public health emergency declared by U.S President Donald Trump’s administration in January, the agency said.

Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

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