The U.S. FDA has cautioned GoJo to stop claiming its hand sanitizer can safeguard people from flu and other viruses. The manufacturer of Purell products claims its sanitizer can prevent infections from superbugs, including Ebola, norovirus, and the MRSA. The federal agency has issued the notice on 17th January. According to the notification, the FDA recommends GoJo Industries that its unproven claims regarding Purell have breached the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The agency even noted that it is re-classifying Purell as an unauthorized medication and not an OTC drug.
Reportedly, the Ohio company has made baseless marketing claims regarding its famous product ranges that include alcohol-based gels, sprays, and foams. The manufacturer has even claimed the same benefits on social media and its corporate website. The agency also said it had not discovered any satisfactory and well-regulated trials that assert killing or lessening the number of bacteria on the skin. Even more, the product range does not destroy viruses present on the skin by a particular degree created a corresponding reduction in infection. Overall, Purell hand sanitizers are not capable of controlling diseases triggered by such viruses and bacteria.
The FDA notice arrives as the U.S. battles with the flu season that arrived early this year. Besides, the news comes between global concerns regarding the coronavirus epidemic that has killed over 100 people in China. The FDA also said so far; they do not remember any hand sanitizers they have screened against superbugs like Ebola. Even more, the agency has criticized Purell’s FAQ, which it said implies that the sanitizer comprises of ethyl alcohol. According to the company, it is operational against viruses like influenza, norovirus, and Ebola. The FDA noted it does not permit hand sanitizer products to offer viral claims. But from a scientific point of view, influenza belongs to the family of enveloped viruses. Notably, alcohol is effective in killing and inactivating such viruses. The letter also states that the CDC and WHO recommend using alcohol-based hand sanitizers for preventing flu.