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Q&A for Industry | Withdrawal of Temporary Hand Sanitizer Guidances

1. Why is FDA withdrawing these guidances now?  

ANSWER: The guidances were issued to help meet the demand for alcohol-based hand sanitizer during the COVID-19 public health emergency through temporary regulatory flexibility for products that met certain important circumstances regarding their formulation and labelling.  FDA is withdrawing these guidance documents because current data indicate that consumers and health care professionals are no longer experiencing difficulties accessing alcohol-based hand sanitizer products, and these temporary policies are no longer needed to help meet demand. After December 31, 2021, businesses wishing to continue producing hand sanitizer can do as long as they comply with all applicable regulatory requirements.


2. Are companies required to deregister and delist their hand sanitizer products if they are no longer manufacturing the products?  

ANSWER: FDA asks manufacturers to deregister their establishment if they are no longer producing drug products by following the instructions on the Electronic Drug Registration and Listing Instructions page. 

If a registrant used the CDER Direct application, which is one of FDA’s applications for creating and submitting registration and listing, deregister by: 

  • open the previously accepted version of the registration file,  
  • click “Create New Version,” 
  • select “Establishment De-Registration” for the document type, click “Submit SPL.” 

To request additional assistance with deregistration and delisting, please contact  edrls@fda.hhs.gov 


3. What does a manufacturer need to do to continue manufacturing alcohol-based hand sanitizer products as an over-the-counter drug product? 

ANSWER: After December 31, 2021, manufacturers wishing to continue producing hand sanitizer can do so without an approved new drug application provided they comply with the tentative final monograph for over-the-counter topical antiseptics, as amended, and other applicable requirements, including FDA’s Current Good Manufacturing Practice requirements, to assure that the a drug has the ingredients, strength, and quality it claims to have. 


Additional Information 


4. How do I know if the hand sanitizer I have has been produced under these temporary guidances?  

ANSWER:  Often, it is not evident whether a hand sanitizer product has been produced under the FDA’s temporary policies as outlined in the hand sanitizer guidances. If you have further questions about a specific product, contact the manufacturer or distributor of the product.


5. Are retailers expected to begin removing any hand sanitizer produced under the temporary guidance from store shelves or online marketplaces?  

ANSWER:  No. Even after April 1, 2022, retailers may continue to sell their stock of hand sanitizer produced under the guidances. Withdrawing the guidances is not a requirement to recall all hand sanitizer produced under the temporary policies. The withdrawal notice explains that producers that had been producing hand sanitizers under the temporary policies must stop making new hand sanitizer on December 31, 2021, and they must stop distribution of any remaining hand sanitizer products produced under the guidances by March 31, 2022.


6. If manufacturers still have undistributed hand sanitizer produced under the temporary guidances after March 31, 2022, what steps should they take? 

ANSWER: If, after March 31, 2022, manufacturers still have undistributed hand sanitizer that was prepared under the temporary policies (products produced on or before December 31, 2021), manufacturers should destroy these products. After March 31, 2022, only hand sanitizer products prepared in compliance with all applicable requirements, including the tentative final monograph for over-the-counter topical antiseptics, as amended, should be distributed. Manufacturers should maintain records with information concerning a returned drug product’s destruction, including the product name, manufacturer, lot number, quantity, disposition date, and disposition method. Contact the Environmental Protection Agency and your local waste management and recycling center for information on safe disposal.


7. How should manufacturers dispose of alcohol/isopropyl alcohol after December 31, 2021, that will no longer be used to produce hand sanitizer under the temporary guidances? 

ANSWER:  While hand sanitizers are regulated by FDA as over-the-counter (OTC) drug products, disposal of hazardous waste, including flammable liquids such as alcohol, is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency and local waste management authorities. We recommend contacting your local waste management and recycling center for more information on hazardous waste disposal.



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