With global demand skyrocketing for medical and hygiene supplies like hand sanitiser, usual manufacturers haven’t been able to keep up with demand.
In Australia, many distilleries have already started to explore how they can help supply people and organisations in need across the country, as previously reported by The Shout.
This week that process became easier and more efficient, with the Australian Government Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) announcing it has cut red tape to allow new manufacturers to produce hand sanitiser under specific circumstances.
Antibacterial hand hygiene products fit into the therapeutic goods category and are regulated by the TGA. Prior to the change, hand sanitisers that claimed to kill specific germs and organisms, or that were supplied to clinics and medical facilities, could only be produced by TGA-licensed manufacturers in accordance with production guidelines. However now, other manufacturers are allowed to produce sanitisers like this, given they follow one of two specific formulations.
Explaining the change, a TGA statement read: “specified hand sanitiser formulations [are now] excluded from TGA regulation, as long as they only contain particular ingredients in particular quantities in the final formulation, and comply with certain manufacturing practices, and advertisement and labelling conditions.”
“Provided that the exact formulation and other requirements are followed, this formulation is permitted for use in both healthcare facilities and consumer use. This exclusion will facilitate the urgent and continued supply of large volumes of hand sanitisers in Australia.”
Although there are still strict rules about ingredients, alcohol concentration, labelling and production conditions, this has opened the door for businesses like distilleries to change their usual offering, for the benefit of themselves and the country.
This business versatility is something that all areas of the Government have commended in recent days, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison giving special note to distilleries last week.
Meanwhile, the New South Wales Government is encouraging not only distilleries but all businesses in the state, to think about how they too can support the medical industry supply chain at this time
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said: “I’m calling on the great people of our state, those great business people, those manufacturers who are able to retool, to consider retooling, to help supply the additional things we need in coming months, whether it’s sanitisers, medical equipment and a whole host of other things which our hospitals rely on, in the coming months.
“We say this because we have confidence in the people of this state. We know already that many companies have started retooling, many companies that used to construct other things are now building bottles or converting their product to sanitisers… today we formally start the process.”
Berejiklian urged any businesses that want help with this to log onto nsw.gov.au
Across the country, other state businesses have announced similar calls to action in recent days, and it is expected that more measures to support this ‘retooling’ are to come.