FDA advises not to use hand sanitizer products manufactured by Eskbiochem


The FDA is advising consumers not to use hand sanitizer products manufactured by Eskbiochen due to the potential presence of methanol, a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested.

Further information:


Amendment to WHO Guidelines for the safe production and quality control of poliomyelitis vaccine

The WHO/BS/2020.2381-  Amendment to WHO Guidelines for the safe production and quality control of poliomyelitis vaccine (Annex 4, WHO TRS No. 1016) is available at WHO biological website (, right-hand) .

This document has been prepared based on the discussions at the 4th CAG meeting in July 2019 and the WHO ECBS meeting in Oct 2019; it has taken into consideration comments received from the 1st round Public Consultation on WHO website during February-April this year.  This version has gone through 1st WHO editorial review and has been submitted as BS document for review by the upcoming ECBS meeting in late August.

This draft is being published to get feedback from public audience including regulatory authorities, manufacturers, and other stakeholders. Comments to be received during this round Public Consultation will be reviewed by the drafting group and presented to ECBS subsequently.

DEADLINE for submission of comments: 3 August 2020. Send your comments to Dr Tiequn Zhou at: using the form available at 


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WHO assessment and accelerated national registration of WHO-prequalified In Vitro Diagnostics (IVDs)

WHO has a public consultation on the following document for the WHO Expert Committee on Biological Standardization (ECBS) is now open.

WHO assessment and accelerated national registration of WHO-prequalified In Vitro Diagnostics (IVDs)

The 1st draft of the Collaborative procedure between the World Health Organization (WHO) and National Regulatory Authorities in the assessment and accelerated national registration of WHO-prequalified In Vitro Diagnostics (IVDs) has been prepared to enhance timely access to WHO-prequalified products in countries, to ensure that the product in countries is the same as the one which is WHO-prequalified and to provide a model for regulatory information exchange between countries. The draft document has been updated based on the informal consultation with experts from the National Regulatory Authorities which was conducted in November 2019 during the WHO Workshop on Collaborative Registration Procedure for Diagnostics.

WHO are now publishing this draft to get the feedback from a broad audience of relevant government authorities, manufacturers, and other experts. DEADLINE for submission of comment: 15 July 2020. Please send comments to: 

You could download the document directly by clicking on the following link:

In order to provide your comments, please use the template,


Guyana and Caribbean Regulatory System have adopted the emergency use authorization reliance procedure

Recently, regulatory entities in the Caribbean have moved to implement the PAHO recommended procedure reliance for Emergency Use Authorization in the COVID-19 pandemic (

The National Regulatory Authority of Guyana (Government Analyst, Food and Drug Department) and the Caribbean Public Health Agency/ Caribbean Regulatory System, have both taken decisions to adopt the procedure for drugs, vaccines, and test kits.

These are important developments for many reasons. Medicines and other health technologies are available (test kits) now, or will potentially become available in the coming months, and it will be important that countries have the tools in place to properly make decisions on authorization in an expeditious manner, while based on a trusted regulator’s best scientific and regulatory judgment.

Additional information: and



Ethics and digital contact tracing for pandemic response

New publications 

Contact tracing is an important tool for pandemic response. The possibility of conducting it digitally increases its potential and poses new ethical challenges. This is the topic of the following new publications:

Ferreti et al. Quantifying SARS-CoV-2 transmission suggests epidemic control with digital contact tracing, available from

Kahn J (ed). Digital contact tracing for pandemic response: Ethics and governance guidance, available from 

For WHO guidelines on ethical issues in public health surveillance, which provide relevant guidance and include a guideline focused on public health emergencies, go to


WHO: Ethics & SARS-CoV-2 – Restrictive Measures and Physical Distancing

The use of restrictive and physical distancing measures during a pandemic raises a number of important ethical issues. This publication of WHO’s COVID-19 ethics working group is available at the site of the Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Ethics Network (PHEPREN):

The document has been developed on the basis of WHO’s Guidance For Managing Ethical Issues In Infectious Disease Outbreaks (available at: The document can be accessed directly at:



PAHO: Mechanisms for emergency use authorization of medicines and other health technologies in a pandemic

PAHO has published the document on Reliance for Emergency Use Authorization of Medicines and Other Health Technologies in a Pandemic (e.g. COVID-19). This document provides guidance to national regulatory authorities (NRAs) and regulatory systems on practical ways to implement reliance for emergency use of medicines and other health technologies in and around a pandemic. Note that countries use different terminologies for emergency use and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) will use the term “Emergency Use Authorization” (EUA).

The publication is available at


FDA reiterates risks of antimalarial drug use for COVID-19

FDA Reiterates Importance of Close Patient Supervision for ‘Off-Label’ Use of Antimalarial Drugs to Mitigate Known Risks, Including Heart Rhythm Problems

The US FDA has issued a Drug Safety Communication regarding known side effects of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, including serious and potentially life-threatening heart rhythm problems, that have been reported with their use for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19, for which they are not approved by the FDA.

Additional information: and



COFEPRIS: COVID-19 actions

The National Regulatory Authority in Mexico (COFEPRIS) has published on its website its actions to deal with the health emergency derived from COVID-19; among them: measures in relation to clinical trials, technical guidelines for clinical trials protocols related to the therapeutic use of convalescent plasma, regulatory flexibility in import and export processes for all health supplies, and provisions for the acquisition and manufacture of ventilators.

COFEPRIS’ actions to attend to the COVID-19 emergency are available at: