Pharmacy bodies comment on rapid antibody testing


In response to the news that the General Pharmaceutical Council has advised against the use of COVID-19 rapid antibody tests the following pharmacy representative bodies provided comment to PIP on the topic.


Community Pharmacy Scotland Director of Operations Matt Barclay commented:


“CPS acknowledges the GPhC position on the sale of rapid antibody tests. We also note that this is consistent with the current position of Scottish Government as highlighted in June by the CMO, which highlights that these tests are only being used for surveillance measures across the Scottish population. We would, therefore, encourage members to consider these positions with regard to the tests before making any decision about availability to the public at this time.”


Director of Operations and Support at PSNC, Gordon Hockey said:”


The letter from GPhC should be helpful to contractors and pharmacists alike, as with any advice from your regulator. Patients and members of the public rely on the professionalism of sector and while the GPhC may not deal directly with this particular legislation, it does deal with fitness to practise of the pharmacy team and the registration of pharmacies.”


An NPA spokesperson said:


“The NPA is in active discussions with manufacturers, regulators and Public Health England about antibody tests.  More clarity is needed about the evidence base underpinning the current guidance which states that it is inappropriate for pharmacists to recommend or sell tests.  We continue to believe that there should be a significant role for community pharmacy in the testing programme for COVID-19.”


A representative from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) commented:


“RPS has provided guidance to support pharmacists and their teams on the frontline here based on the currently available evidence. Provision of COVID-19 testing as either private or NHS services should be in line with current evidence-based protocols using approved products and taking into account regulatory and RPS professional guidance. As the evidence around rapid COVID19 antibody testing develops, this position may change.”


You can read the letters to the editor on this topic here. 


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PIP editor

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