Health Canada is reducing some of its usual regulatory requirements for handsanitizers, in a March 19, 2020 story. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Health Canada acts to boost supply of hand sanitizer, disinfectants, swabs, masks

OTTAWA — Health Canada is waiving some of its usual regulatory requirements to increase supplies of hand sanitizers, disinfectants, swabs and personal protective equipment such as masks and gowns used to help contain the spread of COVID-19.

Due to “unprecedented demand” for such products, Health Canada says it will temporarily allow them to be sold in this country even if they don’t meet the normal regulatory requirements.

The temporary waiver will apply to products that are already authorized for sale in Canada but aren’t fully compliant with Health Canada regulations on things such as bilingual labelling or the type of packaging to be used.

It will also apply to products not authorized for sale in Canada but which are approved in other jurisdictions with what the department calls “similar regulatory frameworks and quality assurances.”

Health Canada says it’s also expediting approvals of products and will expedite approvals of applications for licences to sell the products in Canada.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 18, 2020.

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