GermBloc Hand-Sanitizer Class Action Takes Aim At 99.99% Germ-Killing Claim
Like other hand sanitizer manufacturers, WillSpeed Technology claims its GermBloc “kills 99.99% of germs.” Plaintiffs in a proposed class action filed in Massachusetts federal court allege the claim “grossly overstates” the product’s efficacy, deceiving consumers and endangering them with false confidence.
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A class action complaint in California’s Southern District, challenging the hand sanitizer manufacturer’s 99.99% germ-kill claim, ignores the asterisk on products’ primary display panels that links to a disclosure on rear labels, “*Effective at eliminating 99.99% of many common harmful germs & bacteria," according to Vi-Jon's 27 August motion to dismiss.
A growing number of class action complainants allege that 99.99% germ-killing claims on hand sanitizers are false and misleading. The suits cite potentially dangerous microorganisms that, according to plaintiffs, are impervious to active ingredients used in the category, and argue that bacteria reductions do not necessarily translate to illness or infection prevention.
The future of OTC antiseptic products – including antibacterial soaps and sanitizing hand rubs and wipes – came into serious question under FDA monograph actions taken in recent years. Stakeholders agree that Congress’s recently enacted CARES Act promises to transform OTC drug review, but the data requirements and uncertainty surrounding OTC germ-killing ingredients may be quickly reinstated.