FDA tells Purell to stop making unproven health claims

It’s a marketing problem, not a quality issue

FDA tells Purell to stop making unproven health claims
The FDA says Purell claims on its website that the over-the-counter hand sanitizer is an effective way of preventing Ebola, MRSA, VRE, norovirus, flu and Candida auris, but there's no clinical proof. (Source: CNN)

(Gray News) – The folks that make Purell hand sanitizer recently got a stern warning from the Food and Drug Administration, saying the company was making unverified claims about its product.

In a letter to GOJO Industries, Purell’s parent company, the FDA says the company claims on its website that the over-the-counter hand sanitizer is an effective way of preventing Ebola, MRSA, VRE, norovirus, flu and Candida auris.

“FDA is currently not aware of any adequate and well-controlled studies demonstrating that killing or decreasing the number of bacteria or viruses on the skin by a certain magnitude produces a corresponding clinical reduction in infection or disease caused by such bacteria or virus,” the FDA says in the letter.

The FDA doesn’t say the claims are untrue, just that they’re unproven. Only government-approved drugs can make such claims.

The federal agency says if Purell wants to get its products approved as pharmaceuticals, it can market whatever it can prove.

But until then, it must stop making those claims.

GOJO says it will comply with FDA regulations.

“To that end, we have begun updating relevant website and other digital content as directed by the FDA and are taking steps to prevent a recurrence,” the company said in a statement.

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