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Drugstores beg shoppers to stop hoarding

Kroger, Publix limit sales of disinfecting items
Do hand sanitizers work? FDA wants to know
Posted at 10:54 AM, Mar 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-09 14:23:30-04

First it was face masks that disappeared after a run on stores by nervous consumers. Now it's hand sanitizer and any type of disinfecting wipes, leaving pharmacists begging people to stop hoarding.

Pharmacist Troy Stinson says his store, Mullaney's Pharmacy, ran out of masks weeks ago, and has no idea when more may come in.

Now hand sanitizer has become the new N95 face mask: almost impossible to find, after hoarders came in and cleared the shelves.

"It is completely unnecessary to buy those all," Stinson said. "If you want to have some on hand, it's a good idea to have. But it's not necessary to buy all of them."

Consumers, however, are not heeding the request of Stinson and other pharmacists. We couldn't find a single bottle of Purell at several Walgreens and grocery stores.

Now, grocers like Kroger and Publix are limiting the sales of sanitizer and disinfectant wipes, but at this point it is like locking the barn door after the horse got out.

It's even worse at Sam's Clubs and Costco stores, where warehouse shoppers have been clearing the shelves of toilet paper, stocking up for months.

A spokesman for Walmart, which owns Sam's, told us they are resupplying, saying "we're working with our suppliers to understand and mitigate any supply chain disruptions. Providing customers with the products they need remains our focus."

But it's a lot tougher when people are hoarding.

A few bottles of hand sanitizer and Lysol wipes is a great idea. Stashing enough for a small army, or several years locked in your home, is selfish.

So think of others and don't waste your money.

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