No, stores do not need a drug license to sell hand sanitizers. Initially, the sale of hand sanitizers was restricted exclusively to dealers having drug license, thus, mostly chemists and medical shops1. However, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare issued a notification that requested the Centre to include ‘hand sanitiser’ in Schedule K of the Drugs and Cosmetic Rules, 1945 (exempted drugs). The Central Government classified this as a ‘necessity’, removing the need to get a license to sell hand sanitizers. Currently, hand sanitizers and antiseptic lotions fall under the category of disinfectants2 and thus, exempted from the provisions of Sec. 18 of Drugs and Cosmetics Act.
- Section 18(c), Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940
- Reckitt Benckiser v. State of Kerala, 2010; Vijayakumar and Others v. Drug Inspector, 2005.
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