COVID-19 testing: new GPhC guidance removes pharmacy anomaly

15th February 2021

In an open letter dated 15 February, GPhC states that the regulator is no longer barring community pharmacies from providing point of care or near-person antibody tests. Instead, they expect any pharmacy owner or pharmacy professional to “carefully consider” Public Health England guidance and other relevant guidance when deciding whether it is appropriate to offer this type of test, or other type of Covid-19 test.

NPA Chief Executive Mark Lyonette said:

“We are delighted that the GPhC has joined Public Health England in updating guidance on COVID-19 testing, following repeated representations by the NPA.

“Community pharmacies are no longer explicitly prohibited from providing COVID tests, which was a clear anomaly in the initial position.

“We believe our persistence helped bring about this levelling of the playing field in relation to testing, as well as a big dollop of common sense.

“We are now examining the detail of this modified guidance – PHE and GPhC – so that the full implications can be properly understood.”

GPhC’s updated position also emphasises that any pharmacy offering COVID-19 tests must carry out a full risk assessment and check whether they need to be accredited with the United Kingdom Accreditation Service.

NPA support to help its members with test kit sales and testing services will be available soon.