Health Canada allowing sale of disinfectants, hand sanitizers that don’t meet regulatory requirements

By | March 19, 2020

WINNIPEG — Health Canada announced Wednesday that it is allowing access to hand sanitizers, disinfectants, personal protective equipment and swabs that don’t fully meet current regulatory requirements.

It is doing this as an interim measure, because of the high demand and urgent need for these products during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Canada, disinfectants are classified as non-prescription drugs; hand sanitizers as natural health products or non-prescription drugs; and personal protective equipment and swabs are classified as medical devices. All of these products are normally subject to regulatory requirements, including licensing and bilingual labelling, the government will allow certain products to be sold in Canada.

These products include:

  • Items that are already authorized for sale in the country, but aren’t fully compliant with Health Canada requirements; and
  • Items that aren’t authorized for sale in Canada, but are in other jurisdictions with similar regulatory frameworks and quality assurances.

Health Canada said it’s expediting product approvals, as well as establishment and site licenses related to these products.

A full list of the products being sold as part of this interim measure can be found online. 

If anyone sees a product that doesn’t have a drug identification number or natural product number, they are asked to report it to Health Canada.

The department will continue to provide updates on additional efforts to increase supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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