Local businesses combine to help meet hand sanitizer need

LOCAL businesses will now be able to meet the need for hand sanitizer due to changes in regulations by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

The news has been welcomed by Member for Mallee Anne Webster, who stressed how essential hand sanitizer was to our community at the time.

"Hand sanitizer has been in short supply locally due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the significant increase in demand on supplies," Dr Webster said
"A little over a week ago, my office contacted a range of local suppliers and identified there was a critical shortage of hand sanitizer.

"Tim DeBoo at Priceline Pharmacy in Mildura is a compounding pharmacist and has been providing a service to Mildura and surrounds by manufacturing specific medications that many patients need to treat a range of diseases.

"With the arrival of the Coronavirus, Tim has been making hand sanitizer for those in our community who are vulnerable and immuno-compromised, as well as for other pharmacies and doctors' surgeries."

"When we spoke to Tim, he advised us that he had stopped making hand sanitizer because he could not source the raw ingredients, predominantly the alcohol that was required to meet TGA guidelines."

Dr Webster said that Mr DeBoo suggested that if the TGA could drop the standard to food grade, as pharmacists in the US have advocated for, there would be a more ready source and production could start.

"I brought this up with the Health Minister, to see this change enacted," Dr Webster said.

"Yesterday the Minister for Health and Minister for Industry, Science and Technology announced that this change had been made, allowing the manufacture of hand sanitizer from food grade alcohol.

"My office then put Tim in contact with Steve Timmis at Fossey's Gin, who has been able to supply 80 litres of alcohol.

"I want to congratulate Steve as well, for the innovative way that he pivoted the expertise of the team at Fossey's to the production of sanitizer products. This is further evidence that with collaboration and innovation we will get through this pandemic crisis together."