As anyone who’s visited a store or shopped online recently knows, hand sanitizer is almost impossible to find. For healthy individuals who don’t work in the medical field, that’s an inconvenience. For health care professionals who treat the sickest of the sick, that can be a life-or-death situation.
This became even more apparent when were made aware that the Accredo field nurses were struggling to find sanitizer and other personal protective equipment. These nurses visit patients at their homes to administer life-sustaining medications for conditions such as pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Because of these patients’ medical conditions, COVID-19 is an extreme threat.
At the beginning of this pandemic, we quickly realized that they could produce the hand sanitizer these nurses needed with the resources that we had available, including a cleanroom, which is a highly regulated certified space where compounding teams prepare fertility medications that are not commercially available otherwise. And with many patients delaying their fertility treatments due to the pandemic, the capacity was available to make a difference.
It took a few days and a team to find approved formulas and to source ingredients like isopropyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxide and bottles, before we could get started. Once we did, the compounding team spent several hours preparing the hand sanitizer and filling almost 700 4-ounce bottles. Pharmacists did the necessary verifications, technicians affixed the labels, and employees across the organization signed notes included with each bottle. Just a few weeks later, the team got to work compounding and filling another 650 bottles.
We’re known for putting heart into the business and that spirit shined as our employees came together on this project. It’s in times like these that community is most important and finding ways to serve that community, like the simple act of making sanitizer, is what’s going to not only protect our health care professionals and their patients, but get us through this crisis.