ORD — When the coronavirus pandemic reached Nebraska, Angie Svoboda and Jim Andreesen quickly realized that there would soon be a shortage of hand sanitizer.
And the co-owners of Good Life Pharmacy were in a unique position to provide a solution to that pending problem.
Good Life Pharmacy has locations in Ord, Albion and Loup City. The Ord location, which was established in 1996, is a compounding facility, which means that the pharmacists there are able to make their own medicines.
And the owners got to work producing much-needed hand sanitizer March 16, shortly after COVID-19 cases started appearing in Nebraska.
“We knew right off the bat that there would be a shortage,” Svoboda said. “Our wholesalers weren’t able to produce any. We weren’t able to get any, so we made the decision to start making our own.”
For the average person, producing hand sanitizer wouldn’t be easy. That’s not the case for a compound pharmacy — as long as it can acquire everything that is needed.
“Our community pulled together and helped us find some supplies,” Svoboda said. “Our suppliers also stepped up and helped us get some things that we needed.”
She said compound pharmacies have helped each other with tips to make slight adjustments to improve the formula for hand sanitizer.
So far, Good Life Pharmacy has produced between 75 and 80 liters.
It has offered individual bottles of hand sanitizer at cost.
“It is expensive to make,” Svoboda said. “Our chemicals cost. Our time costs. What shocked us the most was the price of the packaging. It would be nice to be able to give it away, but we are selling it at what it costs us to make it.”
The sanitizer has been purchased throughout the Ord area, including by assisted living facilities, physical therapists, gas stations and grocery stores.
Svoboda said this is one way that Good Life Pharmacy can help during the pandemic.
“As compound pharmacists, we focus on what is needed by doctors and patients,” she said. “This is an opportunity to help patients out with what they need.”
Svoboda said the production of hand sanitizer will continue for the near future, but she hopes it won’t be required for an extended period of time.
“I’m thinking that eventually the producers of hand sanitizer — there are a couple of big companies — will be able to supply everyone again,” she said. “Right now, they are overwhelmed and can’t get the supply out.”
Svoboda said it is possible that a lot of the supply is currently going to the East and West coasts, areas that have been hit harder by COVID-19.
So until the supply levels return to normal, Good Life Pharmacy is willing to continue to help out, one bottle of sanitizer at a time.