Local producing hand sanitizer
April 5, 2020
CLOVIS - A long list of people have stepped up, doing what they can to help during this unprecedented health crisis.
First-responders, physicians, nurses, law enforcement, the list goes on.
Among those summoning their expertise to assist in the fight against COVID-19 are pharmacists. Because among the many items that have dwindled down to short supply - or in some cases, no supply - during the pandemic-fueled hoarding runs is one of the most crucial.
People want it to stay safe, to protect themselves from being infected by the coronavirus. And in the face of sanitizer shortages, here come your local pharmacists to the rescue.
The Food and Drug Administration recently published a request and guidelines for compound pharmacies to make sanitizers because of a national shortage. Micah Lansford, owner of Roden-Smith Pharmacy in Clovis, is among those involved in the fight.
"And like everybody else, we could not get it from our wholesaler. ... None of them had it," Lansford said last week. "The active ingredient in all hand sanitizers is alcohol - ethyl or isopropyl alcohol. So we were able to get a hold of that, and compound it according to the FDA's formula for compounding hand sanitizer."
Which means more hand sanitizer is arriving. But that doesn't mean every person, hoarder or not, who walks in off the street will be able to overbuy it, or even buy it, period.
"It's a big request of everybody," Lansford said. "They want it; they feel like they've got to have it. Kind of like the toilet paper thing - 'I don't care how much I have at home, or if I can wash my hands, I want sanitizer.'
"And so instead of selling it with such a shortage, we called the local clinics that are still seeing patients and just donated it to a bunch of them. I called the hospital and the hospital seemed to have a good supply a week and a half ago, but then they called (Monday) and said, 'We're running low; our warehouse in Albuquerque doesn't have it. Can we have some?'
"So I gave them everything I had left (Monday) and hope to have a little bit more to continue to do that. I'm primarily allocating that for healthcare providers, first-responders. I checked in with the fire department; he said that they were good right now. But I'm trying to reserve it for that and not just have it for the general public."
Understandable why the general public wants it. Also understandable, though, is why it needs to be given to people for whom it's a high priority.
"The doctors' offices in particular seem really important to me," said Maggie Lansford, Micah's wife and the mother of their three children. "Because people, especially before we were in the middle of all this, would just come in sick and just expose the world in that room. And (the doctors) are pretty front-line and maybe not used to seeing such serious things."
So it's imperative that those medical professionals and other front-liners get the hand sanitizer first. Besides the obvious importance of those professionals staying clean and safe, Micah Lansford said the general public can still be vigilant without having sanitizer.
"Anti-bacterial soap is just as good as hand sanitizer," he said. "The whole benefit or purpose behind hand sanitizer is it's quick. So if you're a primary care provider or a nurse going in and out of different rooms, you can pump on the way in, pump on the way out, and it's really quick.
"But if you're supposed to be home-bound right now, you go to the grocery store, you go to the pharmacy, the point is, you come home, you wash your hands, and it's the same thing. So the sanitizer really should be reserved for those people having a lot of quick interactions right now."