From medication to masks, local pharmacies adjust to meet customer demands during coronavirus


CLAYTON, MO – Local pharmacies are taking steps to address an unprecedented surge in demand for medication and other items.

Rick Williams, owner of Ladue Pharmacy on Clayton Road, said it began with requests for hand sanitizer, masks, and alcohol.

In recent days, he said, customers were concerned about shortages of medications, and as a result, began placing requests for multiple months. Williams said he is doing his best to prevent people from hoarding medicine.

“We are trying to be as prudent as possible. Only giving a little bit extra for some people, because we want to make sure that there’s medication available not only for our patients, but really the entire community,” said Rick Willimas.

He noted that some patients have requested Hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria medication that the president is recommending for COVID-19.  The drug is also used to treat people with lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.

“And so, we’re trying to take care of them,” he said “And so if we get requests, we try to verify whether there has been a positive test for Covid. And again, we’re trying to manage that as best as possible.”

Face masks and toilet paper are among the other frequent inquiries.

“Toilet paper is an hourly request – if not, every minute, we get calls for that. Tylenol is a big one that we get requests for.”

Ladue Pharmacy made recent changes to keep customers and staff safe. The business is full service, but all orders are either curbside or delivery. Staff is also following social distancing guidelines, maintaining a six-foot-plus distance.

On a lighter note, business has picked up with the upcoming holiday.

“We now have a little cottage industry of putting together Easter baskets. So, we’ve got a stack of orders right now, where we have a little assembly line.” He added, “I think that people are feeling really good about it. That they can bring some normalcy back to their life. And shop in whatever way that they can. So, it’s been nice.”

With panic and anxiety settling in for many people, Williams said he tells customers to play it safe, and follow CDC guidelines.

“We’re preaching the same thing that you hear everywhere. And we’re certainly practicing it in the store as well as at home. That is, keep your hands clean. Stay six feet away from anybody. Never touch your face. And if you can do those preventative measures.”

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