The first comment many opioid treatment programs (OTPs) had about Mallinckrodt’s new policy of donating hand sanitizers is: “You don’t even have to be a customer.” This is indeed a generous move by the Staines-Upon-Thames-based company that makes much of the methadone, buprenorphine, and other medications used by OTPs. Last week, the company announced that it will expand its hand sanitizer donations to OTPs throughout the country, beyond just its customers.
All production and shipping costs of the hand sanitizer are absorbed by Mallinckrodt.
“Understanding that the outbreak of COVID-19 would result in high demand and short supply of hand sanitizer, Mallinckrodt proactively converted an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing line to produce hand sanitizer, in order to protect both our essential workers as well as people in the communities we serve,” said Spiro Gavaris, president of Mallinckrodt Specialty Generics, in announcing the initiative May 26.
Mallinckrodt Specialty Generics is also donating hand sanitizer to emergency management operations located in regions where it operates. On a weekly basis, Mallinckrodt’s St. Louis plant is manufacturing over 900 gallons of sanitizers for donation.
“As the pandemic started and we scaled up production of hand sanitizer for all of our manufacturing sites, it became clear that frontline providers had a critical need that our St. Louis plant could help fill,” said John Leonard, senior director, manufacturing, Specialty Generics. “It has been a true team effort to make the hand sanitizer available to those who need it the most during the current shortages.”
According to the press release, Mallinckrodt “has requested expedited guidance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG) regarding the donation of sanitizer to OTPs and its legality under the federal Anti-Kickback Statute. OTP and Mallinckrodt agree that (i) Mallinckrodt’s provision of hand and surface sanitizer imposes no obligation, express or implied, on OTP to purchase or prescribe, or recommend or arrange for the purchase or prescription of, Mallinckrodt’s products or services, nor does the provision of hand and surface sanitizer represent remuneration for any past or future use or purchase of Mallinckrodt’s products or services; and (ii) the provision of hand and surface sanitizer is not in exchange for, and does not take into account, the volume or value of referrals or other business generated, if any, by OTP. If Mallinckrodt was to receive guidance from the OIG that necessitates the termination of the donations, we will immediately discontinue our donations.”
Hand sanitizer donations are available in cases of four 1-gallon containers. All OTPs may order sanitizer by emailing the following information — OTP name, Email, Phone, Address, Number of cases — to Sanitizer@mnk.com.