On April 14, 2020, Rotarian and Pharmacist Steve Hoffart spoke to the membership of the Magnolia Rotary Club about how his club is transitioning his business in a COVID-19 world. Pictured above is Steve Hoffart.
Steve (via Zoom meeting) told the group that his business (The Magnolia Pharmacy) decided when COVID-19 became a reality that his business would have to change and adapt to a changing set of facts about COVID-19. To that end, he and his employees came up with a business plan that encompassed both the protection of their customers as well as the protection of their employees. The plan is followed daily until new data causes a change. The addition of face masks was one of these changes after the CDC decided people should wear them. The plan is extensive and covers many of the CDC guidelines. Steve also closed the inside of the store to customers. Medicines and other products are brought out to the customers cars after they text the store. They also implemented a procedure where only the customer touches their credit card. Signatures are not required but an internal computer record of the transaction is kept.
Another problem they ran into is that you can know longer find any hand sanitizer in local stores due to hoarding. Since the pharmacy has an expensive compounding lab at the story, they could produce their own. However, the state of Texas only allows prescription medicines to be produced in the lab. The state soon realized the problem and now allows over the counter hand sanitizer to be produced in the lab. Steve then started making their own hand sanitizer. Initially, Steve produced hand sanitizer for his employees and donated batches to the local police and fire departments. However, once people found out he could make it, many asked Steve to make some for them. Very quickly, demand outran the ability to make it. One of the problems was that a gallon of pharmaceutical grade alcohol has a cost over $100. Steve then figured out that Ever Clear Liquor has a 95% alcohol content and a gallon can be purchased for around $33.00. He was then able to produce quite a bit more hand sanitizer which he can sell in non-pump or non-spray bottles to the general public at a reasonable price.
Another problem Steve ran into is that customers could not always get a doctor to approve a prescription refill because doctors have become so busy. However, the state of Texas will now allow for a temporary 30 day refill without a doctors approval during these very unique circumstances.
When asked about whether face masks can be sanitized, Steve told everyone that he is looking into it and found that a Microwave can sanitize masks as long as they don't have any metal such as a metal nose clip in them. Steve was also asked how many of his customers are taking Hydroxychloroquine. Steve indicated that only four of his customers have a prescription for it and three of them are in the nursing home in the Woodlands that has been in the news lately.
Steve then talked about the fact that he not only uses data to drive his business plan but he has started sharing much of that data on his Facebook site. For more information about the Magnolia Pharmacy, Steve suggest going to his Facebook site located online at: https://www.facebook.com/magnoliarx.
A photo of the Zoom meeting can be seen below: