LloydsPharmacy has launched a sore throat service that will identify streptococcus A infections in 600 of its stores across the UK.
The test will cost £4.99 and is available to anyone aged 18 or over, with LloydsPharmacy’s parent company Celesio insisting the service will “reduce the burden on GPs whilst supporting the growing issue of antibiotic resistance.”
The test, the company said, “offers 98% accuracy and means that instead of waiting for a GP appointment, patients can visit their local community pharmacist for both screening and antibiotics (if required).”
If the patient’s sore throat needs antibiotics, the pharmacist will supply them, the walk-in service which includes a questionnaire, examination and mouth swab test for a bacterial throat infection taking a few minutes, according to Celesio.
“Antibiotics will be provided to those patients who positively test for Strep A and meet the inclusion criteria as outlined in the Patient Group Direction,” the company said.
“For those patients who do not require antibiotics, the relevant over-the-counter product and/or advice will be supplied to provide relief from symptoms.”
Pareena Patel, a pharmacist based in a branch of LloydsPharmacy in Worcestershire, said: “Around 85% of sore throats are viral and so are not treatable by antibiotics. Almost a third of people still visit their GP with a sore throat yet the vast majority would be better off seeing a pharmacist as it is a condition which requires rest, over-the-counter medications to help manage symptoms and antibiotics if appropriate, all of which can now be provided in pharmacy.”
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