Quick Hits: FDA Cracks Down on Purell Hand Sanitizer Claims

The FDA warned Purell to stop making unproven claims about their product’s ability to help eliminate Ebola, MRSA, and the flu.

These days, hand sanitizer is commonplace. It’s conveniently stationed near cart storage in grocery stores, and even available to those waiting in line at fast food restaurants. But do they really work the way they’re marketed? A recent CNN article says the FDA doesn’t think so. The regulating agency issued a warning letter to Gojo Industries, maker of Purell, asking them to stop making marketing claims that make their products seem like pharmaceutical drugs, rather than over-the-counter topical antiseptics.

Apparently Purell has made unproven claims on their website and social media accounts stating that the product “Kills more than 99.99% of most common germs that may cause illness in a healthcare setting, including MRSA & VRE.” According to the FDA, they are not aware of any hand sanitizers that have been tested in this regard. Now Gojo is left with two options: market Purell as a drug and file a new application for approval, or stop making these marketing claims. 

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