Alliance 'working hard to replenish' lateral flow supplies
Wholesaler Alliance Healthcare has said it is “working hard to replenish” pharmacies’ stocks of lateral flow devices amid a surge of demand for the testing kits.
The Government announced on the weekend that from today it requires all contacts of confirmed Covid-19 cases – whether Omicron or another variant – to test themselves daily using lateral flow devices for seven days to help slow the spread of the disease.
Health secretary Sajid Javid said: “We are taking this proportionate and more practical measure to limit the impact on people’s day to day lives while helping to reduce the spread of Omicron.”
This has prompted huge demand among the public for LFDs as the spread of coronavirus increases throughout Britain. A dedicated Government website has advised people yesterday and today that no kits are available for home delivery but that people may access them from pharmacies and other sites.
LFDs have been freely available from a number of sources in England including community pharmacies, which offer the kits through the Pharmacy Collect service for which they receive a service fee of £1.70 (for transactions where patients fill in an online form and receive a collect code) or £1.20 (for “anonymous” transactions).
Pharmacy Network News has received reports from both independents and multiples that are struggling to meet demand for LFDs and in some cases having to turn people away. Some pharmacists have reported that patients have been confrontational where they are unable to access kits.
When approached for comment by PNN, Alliance Healthcare – which is solely responsible for distributing LFDs to pharmacies in England – said: “Over the weekend, there was increased demand for lateral flow tests and Alliance Healthcare UK is working hard to replenish stock levels.
“We will continue to review stock and order levels to meet the increased demand and ensure a consistent supply across the UK.
“We do suggest that accounts visit our customer ordering platform, myahportal, for the latest situation.”
The PSNC advised contractors last week to “continue to review stock levels and where there is space to store additional cartons of test kits within the pharmacy, consider placing additional orders to ensure their pharmacy teams can meet demand over the next couple of months”.
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