Ensuring the Availability of Quality Hand Sanitizers during the COVID-19 Outbreak in Pakistan

Speeches Shim

Thursday, April 23, 2020
Locally producing hand sanitizers

In Pakistan, the COVID-19 outbreak has led to a surge in demand for hand sanitizers. Unprecedented demand increased prices to all time highs and has made it difficult to find and buy hand sanitizers in local markets. Unmet demand has also led to low quality hand sanitizers entering the market.  Substandard products could seriously disrupt current efforts to mitigate transmission of COVID-19 by reducing  the effectiveness of sanitizers used by  Pakistanis. 

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) -supported Promoting the Quality of Medicines Plus (PQM+) project is helping Pakistan’s COVID-19 response by implementing two activities that address the shortages of quality hand sanitizers and reduce the presence of substandard ones.

To address the urgent demand for hand sanitizers in Pakistan, PQM+ has widely circulated United States Pharmacopeia (USP) guidelines for locally producing hand sanitizers and has helped the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) enlist more than 50 Pakistani companies to manufacture hand sanitizers. As a result, many private pharmaceutical and chemical companies have started to quickly produce hand sanitizers, which has begun helping meet the increased demand and reduce prices. 

Additionally, PQM+ supported DRAP to test a range of hand sanitizers, which has resulted in 23 products being declared substandard. With help from the USAID-supported  PQM+ assistance is  reducing substandard and low quality hand sanitizers in Pakistan, increasing the supply of quality sanitizer, and contributing to the mitigation of COVID-19 in the country.

With more than $8 million in new contributions, the United States is collaborating with the Government of Pakistan to help stop the spread of coronavirus nationwide and care for afflicted people.  All of these contributions were identified as top priority needs by Pakistani authorities, and they are fully paid by the American people. Over the past 20 years, the United States has invested more than $18.4 billion in Pakistan, including $1.1 billion in health assistance. 

Last updated: November 24, 2021

Share This Page