More than 650 pharmacies in Wales have signed up to the Lateral Flow Test Device Distribution service, which was launched across the nation yesterday (1 July).  

This comes after contractors were initially asked to submit expressions of interest last month (14 June).  

Some pharmacies in Wales began to receive and distribute the tests as of yesterday (1 July), a spokesperson for Community Pharmacy Wales (CPW) told the Pharmacist.  

They added that they are ‘confident this number will grow over the coming weeks.’ 

The service, which is much like the Pharmacy Collect service in England, will mean that eligible asymptomatic people in Wales — such as the most vulnerable and those spending time in higher risk environments — will now be able to collect boxes of Covid tests from their local pharmacy.  

In a letter sent to community pharmacies earlier this week (29 June), chief pharmaceutical officer Andrew Evans said he hoped the service would ‘make a significant contribution to improving access to Covid testing.’  

More than 90% of pharmacies in England have been offering rapid Covid tests since March.  

A similar service for community pharmacies in Scotland has been in action since June.  

LloydsPharmacy also announced this week that it has begun offering lateral flow tests in some of its Scottish and Welsh branches.