PZ Cussons Ghana, a major manufacturer of personal healthcare products, and consumer goods has condemned the hoarding and profiteering of hand sanitizers in the country.

The panic buying of hand sanitizers has left a national shortage of the essential product amid the Coronavirus outbreak. 

From pharmacies to retail outlets these alcohol-based rubs are in high demand – leading to price-fixing and profiteering.

Checks at some Pharmacies with limited supply show a 50ml hand sanitizer which was then going for GH¢5 has shot up to GH¢15 and even GH¢20. PZ Cussons, distributors of sanitary products and detergents are concerned over this national trend.

Head of Personal Care for PZ Cussons, MaryAnn Boateng said “Because we are panic buying, one person goes and buys 12 hand sanitizers at once. You don’t actually need to buy 12. There’s no point in protecting yourself and your neighbour is not because there is a shortage.

She added, “This is the time we need to show community spirit and be each other’s keeper. You don’t have to be selfish and go and hoard – that is what is spiking prices.”

Amid concerns over panic buying and the subsequent price hikes of hand sanitizers, there are questions about possible regulations. 

Responding to this development, Head of Brand Development and Activation for PZ Cussons, Hafsa Rimantha Arthur told JoyBusiness the retail market is unregulated hence this disturbing development.

“We provide retailers with a recommended retail price. Our set up does not mandate us to insist on the retail price. What we need to do is to allow consumers to as much as possible get to know the retail price. The fact that you have more demand than supply gives people the credence which must not be the case. The increasing prices we see does not come from PZ Cussons,” she stated.

The shortage and high demand for essential sanitary products in the wake of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Ghana have left industry players challenged to take advantage to increase local production.

In a meeting with the leaders of the country’s pharmaceutical and banking industries on Monday, 16th March 2020, at Jubilee House, President Akufo-Addo bemoaned the overly-reliant nature of the country on foreign-made things across the board.

According to him, Ghana should possess the capacity to become self-sufficient in the manufacture of items such as masks, hand sanitizers and disposable gloves – basic items needed to combat the spread of Coronavirus.