Amid COVID-19, pharma brands have started manufacturing hand sanitisers

While the demand for hand sanitisers have been on the rise with every passing day, new brands have started capitalising on this. And why not, as hand cleaning is now part of routine amid the novel coronavirus scare.

What’s more, renowned pharma brands have started manufacturing these. As reports reveal, Cipla, for instance, was never into sanitisers but has started distributing the product in recent times. Similarly, companies such as ZEE Laboratories – a manufacturer of generic pharmaceuticals and cosmetics – and IPC Healthcare – a branded drugs supplier for hospitals – have entered this space of manufacturing and distributing sanitisers. Going back to some research, before the COVID-19 attack, there were about 100 sanitiser manufacturers in India, and a majority of these has their manufacturing units in special category states such as Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.

As reported, manufacturing a sanitiser takes about 70 per cent of pure isopropyl alcohol and 30 per cent aloe vera gel or PEG (Polyethylene Glycol) as an inactive ingredient. What is crucial is the adherence to good manufacturing practices in production.

As new brands of sanitisers enter the market, retailers need to be cautious and selective as well. It should be ensured that selected products meet certain quality attributes such as ISO certification, or WHO GMP. Also, the claims of alcohol content should be verified by asking the manufacturers for the batch data. Labels should be cross-checked.

Herbal brands too have launched sanitisers that contain flavours and a dash of ethanol for germicidal effect along with herbs like Neem and Basil i.e. Tulsi. It has been known through news reports that the demand surge has opened doors for private-label brands in the market that are also able to sell at a premium. Even companies making cosmetics and perfumes have shifted to sanitisers.

Globally, along with luxury brands, distilleries have also started manufacturing sanitisers of their own. As reports, French luxury goods group LVMH will start producing hand sanitiser at three of its perfume and cosmetics factories for distribution to French hospitals. Also, in the US, USFDA (US Food and Drug Administration) is allowing companies to make their own sanitisers.

In these trying times, this is an opportunity for any company who has a (manufacturing) set up and network for distribution.

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