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Medication used to treat coronavirus symptoms made by SC company in high demand

(Source: WIS)
(Source: WIS)(WRDW)
Published: Mar. 24, 2020 at 11:44 AM EDT
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WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - At Nephron Pharmaceuticals, orders are up more than 50 percent this month because of the coronavirus pandemic, officials said.

The South Carolina company said it produces more than half of the inhalation solutions used around the country. Some of the drugs they make can be used to treat the symptoms of COVID-19, according to the company.

Monday, WIS got an exclusive look into how the company is dealing with the increased demand for their products.

Kelli Brown has been working at Nephron for over a year now. She helps ship out medication made by the company.

"We have life saving drugs here. We can't stop," she said as she packed up a box of medication used for surgeries.

Officials with Nephron said they ship out millions of doses of medication used to treat respiratory illnesses every month.

“Typically, every month we ship about 85 million doses,” CEO Lou Kennedy said. “We’re pacing 150 million this month.”

According to Kennedy, as soon as they caught wind of a potential pandemic, they began stocking up on supplies so they could continue making their products.

“If we stop, people might die,” Brown said. “It’s important to me that I’m still coming here and doing this, because it’s helping other people.”

The company said since the beginning of the year, it’s been working with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval to get six additional product lines up and operating to ramp up production to better supply hospitals, pharmacies and long term care facilities.

According to Kennedy, this would allow them to make an additional 50 million doses of respiratory ailments a month.

Last week, the FDA gave Nephron approval to begin producing and bottling their own hand sanitizer. The company donated a large batch to the Columbia VA.

Kennedy said none of this could be done without her nearly 2,000 employees.

“We’re doing whatever we can to work as a team,” she said. “At our company we’re all essential personnel and we have to be here. We’re doing everything we can to make sure America breathes.”

Copyright 2020 WIS. All rights reserved.

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