COVID-19 lateral flow tests available from pharmacies

A new pharmacy service was recently launched in England, which allows the public to collect free COVID-19 lateral flow tests (lateral flow devices – LFDs) from community pharmacies. The NHS Community Pharmacy COVID-19 Lateral Flow Device (LFD) Distribution Service was launched on the 29th of March 2021, but the promotion of this service to the public will not start after Easter. Pharmacies were able to order LFDs from the 29th of March, which means the public can collect LFDs from participating pharmacies.
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FEXOFENADINE over the counter – Allevia tablets

Fexofenadine recently received a green light and soon will be available over the counter without a prescription. Until now, fexofenadine was a prescription-only medication. The Government recently announced the reclassification of fexofenadine 120mg, which will be available as General sale Medication (GSL), sold as branded products – Allevia 120mg tablets.

Summary of the post:

  • What is fexofenadine?
  • Fexofenadine over the counter – the first GSL product
  • Can anyone take fexofenadine over the counter?
  • How much fexofenadine (Allevia) cost over the counter?
  • Fexofenadine: availability on prescription
  • Other ways of getting fexofenadine ‘over the counter’

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Clascoterone – NEW cream for ACNE

This year, clascoterone (brand name: Winlevi) has been approved by The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of acne in the US. In the UK, there are several options for the management of acne, including topical preparations and oral antibiotics. In this post, I will review clascoterone and compare it to other treatments available in the UK. I will also talk about any possibility of clascoterone cream reaching the UK.

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12 facts you must know – FLU SEASON 2020/2021

With just one month to go, flu season 2020/2021 is just around the corner. It is expected to be that demand for flu vaccination service will be high this year. NHS England has an ambitious target for the uptake in eligible patients groups of at least 75%. Additionally, eligibility criteria will be extended, for example, phased-out eligibility for free flu vaccination of those aged 50-64. It is expected to be the busiest season, and community pharmacies will play a vital role in providing flu vaccination service. This post is a summary of essential information about flu season 2020 and flu vaccination 2020/2021. This post will be updated regularly with any significant facts, such as flu jab stock availability. Information provided is focused on the delivery of flu vaccination by community pharmacies. 

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What is a dosette box? How to get one?

A dosette box, also known as monitored dosage system (MDS) is a plastic box designed to organise and aid administration of patient’s medication. Dosette box is composed of small sealable compartments, which hold tablets removed from blister packaging (original pack). Dosette box, therefore, can be useful when a patient takes many drugs at different times of the day. Summary of ‘What is a dossete box’ post: 

  • design of dosette boxes
  • design of pillboxes/pill organisers
  • advantages and disadvantages of dosette systems
  • criteria for getting a dosette on NHS
  • an alternative option MDS
  • list of drugs, which should not be placed in dosettes
  • a brief review of popular pillboxes available on

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Best EVOREL CONTI alternative drugs

Evorel patches have been subject to shortages since 2019. Today the stock of Evorel patches, including Evorel Conti and Evorel Sequi is being replenished with improved availability in many pharmacies due to imposed supply restrictions by the wholesaler which redistributes Evorel products. Today I am looking at different options for treatment of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), focusing on Evorel, Evorel Conti and Evorel Sequi alternative drugs. Additionally, stock availability in the UK for Evorel, Evorel range will be discussed.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19) treatment – drug candidates

Developing or finding the right, existing candidate for the treatment of coronavirus became one of the priorities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Effective treatment is not only needed for the current outbreak of the virus but also in case of any future outbreaks if seasonality is observed in the rates of infections, like with influenza (‘flu’) virus. Poorer countries with weak healthcare infrastructure (number of doctors and respirators, for example) will solely rely on cheap drug treatment donated from other countries. The purpose of this post is to list drugs which are or were considered as the treatment of coronavirus (Covid-19) infection.

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NHS prescription charge [2021/2022]

From the 1st of April 2020, the new NHS prescription charge is £9.35 for each item dispensed by a pharmacy. NHS prescription charge usually goes up every year in April. Patients need to pay a new prescription charge even when a prescription was prescribed before the 1st of April 2021 and collected on or after that day.

Summary of the post:

  • the annual increase in NHS prescription charges
  • Who is exempt from paying for NHS prescriptions? (list of exemptions)
  • Are all contraceptive free of charge?
  • List of all medical conditions covered by a medical exemption certificate
  • How to get a medical exemption certificate?
  • Paying for private prescriptions
  • Do students pay for NHS prescriptions?
  • NHS Prescription Prepayment Certificate (PPC)
  • How to get help with NHS prescription charges

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How to get NHS prescriptions delivered?

Choosing NHS prescriptions delivered in the current climate is something patients should consider, however as you will learn from the post, some distance-selling pharmacies, which deliver NHS prescriptions via Royal Mail, are struggling with the demand due to coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Delivery of NHS prescriptions will not only support the social distancing measures to reduce the interaction with other people and vulnerable patients, but also reduce the workload of pharmacy teams, as many NHS prescriptions are dispensed ‘centrally’ and delivered directly to patient’s homes. In this post, I will discuss how the biggest pharmacies deliver NHS prescriptions in the UK. I will also talk about two main options for delivery of prescribed medicines:

  • Deliveries from a local pharmacies’ door to door’ (independent and large multiple pharmacies)
  • Deliveries by distance-selling (internet) pharmacies by post

A separate post will be created on the delivery of prescriptions during the coronavirus pandemic.

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How to change a nominated pharmacy?

Have you recently moved and want to change your pharmacy? Or perhaps you are not happy with the service you have been receiving from your current pharmacy; whatever the reason changing a nominated pharmacy is an easy process and can be done in several ways. How to change a nominated pharmacy? In this post, I will discuss 8 easy ways of changing your nominated pharmacy. Patients who look for information on prescription transfer can read a related post: How to Transfer a Prescription to Another Pharmacy

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