Two Lloyds pharmacies in London have started to offer same-day and next-day rapid Covid-19 antigen tests, Lloyds’ parent company has said.

McKesson announced yesterday (23 November) that the tests were launched at their LloydsPharmacy concession in London's Oxford Street Selfridges store, and at the John Bell & Croyden pharmacy in Marylebone, earlier this month.

The tests - which are available to patients who are not exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms - cost £229 for same-day testing and £199 for next-day results.

McKesson said the high-speed tests are being supplied in partnership with The Regenerative Clinic, which recently launched a Covid-19 testing facility in London’s Harley Street Medical Area.

The local facility guarantees the return of test results on the same day or within 24 hours, according to McKesson.

Alexander Johnston, general manager at John Bell & Croyden, said the pharmacy is pleased to be working with The Regenerative Clinic.

‘We hope that by offering this to our local community, we can provide additional support to our health workers and expand testing capacity at a critical time of need, and hopefully provide reassurance to people as we head into winter,’ he said.

GPhC position on Covid tests

Last month, the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) announced it was planning to review its stance on Covid-19 antibody tests and ‘other forms of Covid-19 testing’, following the news that Boots was launching a rapid testing service.

Duncan Rudkin, chief executive of the GPhC, had previously sent a letter to contractors asking pharmacies to ‘support public health’ by not offering the tests to the public.

The GPhC told the Pharmacist today that it ‘still does not regard it as appropriate for community pharmacy to be selling and recommending rapid Covid-19 antibody test kits at this point’.

However, in updated guidance on its website, the regulator said that it 'has not taken a position on any other form of Covid-19 test'.

'This is a complex and rapidly changing landscape and so pharmacy owners and pharmacy professionals must take responsibility when deciding whether to offer other types of Covid-19 tests,' the GPhC said.  

Public Health England (PHE) has said it is not appropriate for community pharmacies to sell Covid-19 tests as there is ‘no published evidence’ that rapid-result testing kits are accurate.

A PHE spokesperson told the Pharmacist today that it has not made any changes to its existing guidance.

Last month, the NPA called on Public Health England (PHE) to address ‘discrepancies’ in its guidance on Covid-19 antibody testing and permit pharmacists to carry out the tests.