LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDKY) – Early in the pandemic when hand sanitizer was hard to find, local distilleries stepped up by using their equipment to produce thousands of gallons of disinfectant. The Food and Drug Administration was asking them to pay more than $14,000, but have since canceled that fee.
“To get a bill from government now is really a slap in the face,” said Eric Gregory, president of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association.
The fee is standard for pharmaceutical companies that sell over the counter products. According to the CARES Act, the money is supposed to fund the FDA’s regulatory activities. Gregory believes the fee was unfair, especially for an industry struggling to stay afloat.
“To me it’s disrespectful. Our distilleries have performed a tremendous public service and donated hundreds of thousands of gallons not only in Kentucky, but elsewhere. To get a bill at the end of the year like this is just not right,” Gregory said.
State lawmakers also expressed disapproval. Agriculture commissioner Ryan Quarles posted on Twitter, “This is unacceptable.”
Distilleries complained about the untimely bill, which was sent out this week was to be paid by early February.