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UofM pharmacy students, faculty team with Michigan Medicine to make hand sanitizer amid coronavirus outbreak

Hand sanitizer among essential items in high demand, low supply due to COVID-19 pandemic

Pharmacy students teamed with Michigan Medicine to compound hand sanitizer to fill a projected shortfall at Michigan Medicine. They were on target to make 1200 liters. Students and faculty worked on the sixth floor pharmacy space at Michigan Medicine.
Pharmacy students teamed with Michigan Medicine to compound hand sanitizer to fill a projected shortfall at Michigan Medicine. They were on target to make 1200 liters. Students and faculty worked on the sixth floor pharmacy space at Michigan Medicine. (University of Michigan)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – University of Michigan College of Pharmacy students and faculty are partnering with Michigan Medicine to compound hand sanitizer amid supply shortages during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The students and the academic medical center have come together to procure ingredients, develop a recipe and establish temporary compounding operations in pharmacy space at the hospital, officials said.

A faculty member proposed the idea last week after the FDA released guidelines for preparing hand sanitizer amid supply shortages, according to officials.

Four to eight pharmacy students and faculty volunteer with Michigan Medicine pharmacy staff each day to make the hand sanitizer to fill a projected shortfall at Michigan Medicine, officials said.

According to a press release, the process involves the precise measurement of FDA-recommended ingredients, appropriate bottling and FDA-approved labeling. A pharmacist signs off at multiple points in the compounding process to ensure accuracy, officials said.

Currently, they’re able to make 200 to 300 16-ounce bottles each day, officials said.

“We haven’t ventured into making anything else just yet, but it’s difficult to say what new surprises this pandemic will bring to pharmacy,” said Jenn Erley, central pharmacy manager at Michigan Medicine and adjunct clinical instructor at the College of Pharmacy.

UofM medical centers and other hospitals are seeking donations of essential items as supplies run low due to the growing pandemic. Click here to read about what you can donate and where to donate to.

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