ATHENS – Greece’s pharmaceutical industry is turning to using confiscated alcohol being held in warehouses to start the mass production of antiseptic solutions to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus.
The companies will make the critical commodity for the country’s national health care system that is trying to cope with the growing number of cases and deaths after near-panicky shoppers cleaned out supermarkets and drugstores of anti-bacterial wipes, hand sanitizers and antiseptic solutions.
The companies are cooperating with the country’s public revenue authority, AADE, who agreed to release large quantities of confiscated bottles of counterfeit alcohol held in warehouses to be used as raw material, reported Kathimerini.
The companies that were approved by authorities to participate in the production of antiseptics are ELPEN, Pharmathen, IASIS Pharmaceuticals Hellas, Lavipharm, Help Pharmaceuticals, Unipharma and Rafarm.
Soap maker Papoutsanis may also join in by making available its production and bottling facilities but also its pump bottles which are also in short supply as people have turned to making their own antiseptics and cleaners at home with materials such as white vinegar and baking soda or rubbing alcohol, white vinegar and water.
The rush to buy antiseptics at the same time hospitals around the world need them has created a shortage of ethanol, a basic ingredient, which is being hoarded by people and companies fearing the pandemic could be long lived.