EDMOND, Okla. (KFOR) – When you head to the store, you may be frustrated to find some of the items on your list are out of stock. It seems to be a problem for consumers and businesses alike.
Earlier this week, KFOR featured a story about Edmond pharmaceutical facility Qualgen. They’re ready to make 12,000 gallons worth of FDA-formulated hand sanitizer.
After our story aired, Qualgen sold out of the first batch, which was about 2,000 gallons.
“Yes, we’ve been overwhelmed with calls and not only in Oklahoma but all over the nation,” Qualgen CEO Shaun Riney said.
The FAA, police departments, and City of Oklahoma City pre-ordered some of the hand sanitizer.
Now, Qualgen is having trouble finding all of the ingredients to finish their next 10,000 gallons.
“We’re trying to buy product in raw materials. It’s been very difficult. We have half of our goal already met,” Riney said.
Low supply for some ingredients, like isopropyl alcohol, is causing an issue.
“There’s been a run on this and also everybody’s out, so they’re also scrambling to make it. It has driven the prices way up,” Riney said.
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the high demand.
“About a month and a half ago, these were about 25 cents a piece, and then in the last month, it went up to 47 cents and we bought these for about a buck and a quarter,” Riney said.
Another issue for Qualgen are bad players marking up the price. One company is trying to sell them products for 12 times their normal cost.
“You have people buying this product and then trying to resell it that don’t really do this and they’re the ones gouging it,” he said.
U.S. Attorney General William Barr is starting a “COVID-19 hoarding and price gouging task force” to try to curb the issue.
Meanwhile, companies like Qualgen are getting creative on finding what they need to sell to the public.
“It will come down, I think in the next couple of months. Actually, then things will go back to normal, but in the interim, it’s going to be a little higher and it just is what it is until we get past this crisis,” Riney said.
Qualgen said to check their Facebook or website to find out when they’ll have more hand sanitizer for sale. They say they should have more available by mid April.