Buyers turn to homemade hand sanitizers by local pharmacies amid supply shortage

Self-made hand sanitisers costing RM6 from a local pharmacy store.

By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, Feb 12: Due to the shortage of hand sanitisers, some local pharmacies are making their own from concentrated disinfectant.

A pharmacy in Tabuan Tranquility area is selling self-made hand sanitisers for RM6 each and there are customers who do not mind buying them due to desperation.

According to a shop assistant, the hand sanitisers are made by diluting concentrated disinfectant.

“Following the shortage of hand sanitisers, the uncertainty of whether there will be new stock sent and with the current high demand, we made our own sanitisers for the customers.

“It may not be as good as the hand sanitisers, but it still works in killing off germs and bacteria,” the shop assistant said.

A pharmacist from another pharmacy which also sells self made disinfectant by diluting concentrated disinfectant however said that she would not encourage such practice.

“I also made hand sanitisers from concentrated disinfectant. However, I would not encourage it. We made and sold it just in case some customers desperately want it.”

She explained that hand sanitisers contain many active ingredients that pharmacies’ self made ones do not contain.

“Hand sanitisers contain active ingredients which help to make the hand sanitisers last longer. The self-made ones do not contain those active ingredients, so they can only last for a few days.

“Then there is also the concern of smell. Hand sanitisers may contain some active ingredients that give nice smell. The self-made ones smell of alcohol. And that is something that some customers might find it difficult to accept,” said the pharmacist.

Since the outbreak of Covid-19, masks and hand-sanitisers have been sold out. After checking two local retail pharmacies and two national chain pharmacies, the situation remains the same as there is no new stock to replenish the sold ones.

On the issue of face masks, the pharmacist said that to the best of her knowledge, there were three mask suppliers in Malaysia and all three claimed to have no stock. —DayakDaily