FDA Withdraws Temporary Hand Sanitizer Policies Effective December 31, 2021

October 19, 2021By Karin F.R. Moore

The FDA announced last week that it intends to withdraw its guidance documents issued in March 2020 outlining temporary policies regarding the manufacture of hand sanitizers. Effective December 31, 2021, companies manufacturing hand sanitizers and alcohol for use in hand sanitizer under the temporary policies must cease production of these products. Hand sanitizers manufactured before or on December 31, 2021, and produced under the temporary policies by can no longer be sold or distributed by manufacturers after March 31, 2022.  Those who wish to continue to manufacture hand sanitizer after December 31, 2021 must comply with the tentative final monograph for over-the-counter topical antiseptics and other applicable requirements, including the FDA’s Current Good Manufacturing Practice requirements.

As you may remember, at the outset of the pandemic, there was a shortage of hand sanitizer, and many different types of companies, like distilleries and breweries, sought to step into the breach and manufacture hand sanitizer.  Because of this, the FDA issued a Temporary Policy for Preparation of Certain Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer Products During the Public Health Emergency (COVID-19), and policies for the manufacture of alcohol to be used in hand sanitizer.  The FDA is now withdrawing these policies because consumers and health care professionals are no longer experiencing difficulties finding hand sanitizer products, and these temporary policies are no longer needed to help meet demand.

The FDA has posted a helpful Q & A to assist those who have been manufacturing under the temporary policies.