HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Expanding the fight against the coronavirus, PCCA, in collaboration with the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) and the Alliance for Pharmacy Compounding (APC), announced today a global campaign to encourage compounding pharmacists to supply hand sanitizer on a wider scale to assist first responders.
Dubbed the “#CompoundingHandoff,” the initiative provides compounding pharmacists with a plan of action to help their communities. PCCA has developed formulas to compound pharmaceutical-grade, alcohol-based hand sanitizer based on FDA-approved guidelines from the World Health Organization and is sharing them with pharmacists in the U.S. and internationally. More than 1,600 pharmacies have already downloaded these PCCA formulations.
“Americans are reporting they are having trouble finding hand sanitizers as the coronavirus pandemic continues,” said U.S. Rep. Earl L. “Buddy” Carter, R-Ga., the only pharmacist serving in Congress. “To address this, together with these advocacy groups, we worked with the FDA to ensure compounders are able to step in at this important moment. I know compounding pharmacists across the nation are ready to help fill this void for the health and safety of Americans.”
Using the hashtag #CompoundingHandoff, the outreach plan unites participating pharmacists’ efforts to step up supplies for a broader audience and encourages others to become involved, ensuring that emergency responders have access to alcohol-based hand sanitizer products that have been in short supply elsewhere. Some pharmacies have taken the movement even further by providing hand sanitizer at no cost to at-risk community members, like the elderly and immunocompromised.
PCCA, an FDA-registered and inspected chemical repackager and relabeler, has already identified 44 U.S. pharmacies in 42 cities in 23 different states, plus 3 pharmacies in Canada that are supporting the #CompoundingHandoff through their donations to first responders. Compounding pharmacists can provide customized drug formulations for medicines that are not commercially available to meet patient needs.
“Our team of 20-plus clinical compounding pharmacists has taken over 500 calls in recent weeks from pharmacies that are mobilizing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by making hand sanitizer available in their communities,” said PCCA Clinical Services Manager Matt Martin, PharmD. “We’re proud to work with these compounding pharmacies to identify customized therapy solutions that meet the unique needs of their patients and prescribers.”
PCCA said a coordinated campaign will help drive more of its members to donate this crucial resource. To reach even more pharmacies with this initiative, PCCA is partnering with key industry associations, NCPA and APC. NCPA represents 21,000 community pharmacies that employ 250,000 individuals nationwide. With its focus on pharmacy compounding, APC membership includes thousands of pharmacists, technicians, students, researchers and supply chain professionals.
“Independent pharmacies are on the front lines of this crisis, and in many places they are the only accessible healthcare providers,” said NCPA Chief Executive Officer Doug Hoey, pharmacist, MBA. “Ensuring their patients and local first responders have sanitizer is a key part of the national effort to fight COVID-19, and independent pharmacies are willing and proud to meet that need.”
PCCA, NCPA and APC members have taken on an important role in states hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak. That includes being able to assist doctors and hospitals nationwide looking for customized drug formulations that are not commercially available.
APC Chief Executive Officer Scott Brunner, CAE, added: “Like first responders, America’s pharmacy compounders are proving to be heroes to their communities in this crisis. Compounding pharmacists have the specific expertise and training to provide compounded alternatives to over-the-counter products that are in shortage – and not just hand sanitizers for first responders. As this health emergency continues, we’re looking to FDA to allow compounders to meet patient needs for other essential items that may go into shortage.”
PCCA helps pharmacists and prescribers create personalized medicine that makes a difference in patients’ lives. As a complete resource for independent compounding pharmacists, PCCA provides high-quality products, education and support to more than 3,500 pharmacy members throughout the United States, Canada, Australia and other countries around the world. Incorporated in 1981 by a network of pharmacists, PCCA has supported pharmacy compounding for more than 39 years. Learn more at www.pccarx.com.