Pharmacies in England are now able to order additional Lateral Flow Tests (LFTs) as demand for the tests has fallen in some areas of the country.  

The Government’s Pharmacy Collect team told PSNC this week that pharmacy orders of LFTs, in some locations, have decreased and as a result, they are in a position to supply extra stock to pharmacies still experiencing higher demand for kits. 

Pharmacies can now request up to three additional cartons of test kits in addition to the one carton daily order allowance that contractors can place through Alliance Healthcare, PSNC said in an update posted on their website today (25 January).  

Additional orders can be placed by emailing the Pharmacy Collect team and will be dealt with on a first-come, first-served basis, PSNC said. However, pharmacies can only place one additional stock order at this time.  

End to Plan B restrictions

This comes as Boris Johnson announced in the Commons last week (19 January) that he would be dropping all Plan B measures and returning England to Plan A as he believed that the Omicron wave had now peaked in the UK. 

As part of this, the legal requirement for people with Covid to self-isolate will be allowed to lapse when the regulations expire on 24 March, and that date could be brought forward. 

Dr Leyla Hannbeck, chief executive of the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies (AIMp), told The Pharmacist that supply of LFT’s to pharmacies had improved, however, ‘occasionally’ pharmacists were experiencing issues getting orders.   

This month, PSNC confirmed that LFT deliveries to pharmacies are set to rise by a third under new Government plans amid huge demand. 

In an update, the negotiating body said that the Government is currently ‘finalising plans’ to incorporate a second delivery partner to the test distribution scheme to increase the number of LFTs pharmacies receive each week.