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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hats Off to FDA Hand Hygiene "Police"

No surprise that in the midst of the latest 'crisis' relating to the spread of Swine Flu, dozens of product manufacturers are working to capitalize on the opportunity to market and sell their products.

One need only to google search 'hand sanitizer' to appreciate this phrase has appeared on the internet tens of millions of times within the past three months alone.

One hopes that the vast majority of hand sanitizer manufacturers are responsible companies, yet some have aggressive sales/marketing teams that are pushing envelopes when referencing their respective products' features/benefits in connection with defending against Swine Flu.

To that regard, and to their credit, the US FDA has been keeping a sharp eye on the playing field and notifying companies that have inadvertently stepped out of bounds, or neglected to conform to strict advertising guidelines.

Even for those that have a thick book displaying independent lab tests that have successfully demonstrated their product's efficacy against specific pathogens, including Swine Flu, these companies are apparently prohibited from advertising those results.

Sounds silly? Actually its not. Hand sanitizer manufacturers do not register their products as "drugs". As such, unless the product is technically approved as a drug in accordance with very specific FDA approval guidelines, its a no-no to say too much about the product insofar as specific efficacy claims and specific viruses with advertising or collateral material.

Lesson learned..and we hear that a high five goes out to Ms. Elizabeth Miller at the US FDA for working hard to ensure that the playing field remains as level as possible, the players are acting responsibly, and everyone stays so popular by staying healthy.

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