MedPharm donates hand sanitizer to combat COVID-19

By Jenni Spinner

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/Nodar Chernishev)
(Image: Getty/Nodar Chernishev)

Related tags MedPharm Contract manufacturing COVID-19 Coronavirus

The company has shifted production to manufacture sanitizer, intended to protect healthcare providers and other essential workers from coronavirus.

MedPharm, a contract developer of topical pharmaceutical products with locations in the US and UK, has repurposed some of its manufacturing resources to produce hand sanitizer. According to the company, the production shift comes after receiving requests for the material from healthcare providers, first responders, senior care facilities and other such workers.

Using expertise

MedPharm’s president and CEO Eugene Ciolfi said the company is relying on its deep experience in developing and manufacturing solutions to help contribute to the effort to fight COVID-19.

We are fortunate to have 20 years of formulation and manufacturing expertise and the resources to be able to do what we can across both of our facilities in Durham, NC and Guildford, UK​,” he said.

The rapid spread of the viral pandemic has motivated people around the world to purchase, and sometimes hoard, hand sanitizer and other anti-viral products. As a result, shelves in stores and warehouses have been left bare, leaving even the most critical people with no sanitizing resources.

Ciolfi said the staff of MedPharm will be using its used its formulation development knowledge,  facilities and collaborations with community businesses to help mitigate the sanitizer shortage.

It is clear that key small local institutions desperately need the product now and we are proud to be able to support our local communities in any way we can at this time​,” he said.

Repurposing resources

In response to the sanitizer shortage, companies across industries are stepping up, repurposing their production lines to make sanitizer instead of their usual products. For example, Chicago’s CH Distillery​ has changed from producing its signature spirit, Jeppson’s Malort, and other liquors to make sanitizer.

In Durham, NC, MedPharm is partnering with local distiller Bedlam Vodka, who is supplying ethanol (rather than vodka) and facilities to help make the sanitizer. Nearby agricultural and food testing experts at Avazyme will provide the analysis needed to ensure the product is high quality and meets the guidelines for hand sanitizer to be sufficiently used as a disinfectant.

The sanitizer produced by MedPharm and partners will be donated to WakeMed, a NC-based healthcare provider, for use in local hospitals and outpatient units.

Additionally, MedPharm’s facility in Guildford, UK will be formulating and producing batches at that facility, which will be given to local hospices and care homes. According to Ciolfi, the company’s suppliers proved quick to respond to requests for materials, enabling efforts to quickly produce and provide the sanitizer.

Earlier this month, MedPharm opened the doors on its newly expanded facility in Durham​. The $4m investment in the building created 100 new jobs and includes preformulation and formulation development space, histology and microbiology suites.

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