Pharmacy, Natural & Health Sciences

In Short Supply 

Independent pharmacist compounds hand sanitizer for customers 

Proving that necessity is truly the mother of invention, Manchester University alumnus Fidelis Ifeanyl Ariguzo, Pharm.D., went to work making his own batches of hand sanitizer for his pharmacy customers.

After graduating from Manchester University’s Doctor of Pharmacy Program in 2018, Ariguzo prepared for the pharmacy board exam to secure licensing to practice. He also prepared for entrepreneurship. He joined a small community pharmacy partnership in Texas as an independent pharmacist in a new Pharmacy Plus store built in San Antonio, Texas.

During his years as a student pharmacist at MU, Ariguzo also worked as a pharmacy intern at Fort Wayne’s St. Joseph Hospital where he learned about patient care and honed his skills in compounding pharmacy.

In February, when an urgent national need for sanitizers was realized, the overwhelming demand made it impossible to restock hand sanitizer in his pharmacy. That’s when Ariguzo turned to his compounding training. Conferring with his business partner in Houston, the pharmacists researched an article published by the World Health Organization detailing the essential ingredients and ratios to make an antibacterial hand sanitizer from household products.

“I had never made hand sanitizer before,” said Ariguzo, “but when the WHO provided the basic recipe, I knew I could easily customize it to compound my own natural-based formula.”

It was also difficult to get the main ingredient, isopropyl alcohol, said Ariguzo, so he made gallons of his own liquid formula once or twice a month as alcohol became available. His unique compounded mixture is made up of alcohol, peroxide and a combination of natural products to aid and protect the skin from the drying effects of alcohol. Each batch allowed him to provide 3-ounce bottles to about 60 of his customers at no charge.

Ariguzo looks back to when he applied to pharmacy schools and found the Manchester pharmacy program. Its curriculum and intimate campus setting in Fort Wayne attracted him as a smaller school where everyone knew each other.

As an independent pharmacist, Ariguzo enjoys that same small-community interaction. He takes an interest in his patients and hopes to make a positive impact on their health and general well-being through a holistic approach to health and physical fitness. Many of them stop in just to see him even when they have no prescription to 
be filled.

“I have a lot of satisfaction in what I do now because of the people I have met in my practice,” Ariguzo said. “I can be personal with the patients who come in – that is the best part of what I do.”