Chemist + Druggist is part of Pharma Intelligence UK Limited

This is operated by Pharma Intelligence UK Limited, a company registered in England and Wales with company number 13787459 whose registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. The Pharma Intelligence group is owned by Caerus Topco S.à r.l. and all copyright resides with the group.

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use. Please do not redistribute without permission.

Printed By


COVID-19: MHRA asks pharmacies to stop selling finger-prick tests

Lab-based COVID-19 antibody testing using a finger-prick blood sample should be temporarily halted, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has said.

The request, made by the MHRA last week (May 29), has prompted Lloydspharmacy to remove the home sampling kits it launched in March from its Online Doctor service.

Superdrug has also “temporarily halted” its sale of COVID-19 antibody tests, just  two weeks after the service launched.

Providers of laboratory-based COVID-19 antibody testing services that use capillary blood collected by a finger prick should “temporarily stop providing this service until home collection of this sample type has been properly assessed and validated for use with these laboratory tests,” the MHRA said.

This does not affect rapid, point-of-care or laboratory test that collect samples from the patient’s vein. According to the latest MHRA guidance, “laboratory tests are CE marked and safe for use on blood drawn from the vein by a healthcare professional, but have not yet been validated by the manufacturer of the test to be used with a finger-prick blood sample”.

The sample collection kits “have not yet been validated for home use”,  the MHR said. It therefore “can’t be sure that people collecting samples at home currently have sufficient support to collect samples in a way that the laboratory can process to give reliable results”, the regulator added.

Kits withdrawn from sale

Following the MHRA guidance, Lloydspharmacy has withdrawn its home-sampling kits from sale, a spokesperson told C+D yesterday (June 1).

The MHRA has requested that Lloydspharmacy’s laboratory partner “further evidences to its satisfaction that blood sampling using a home sampling kit produces the same reliability as when venous blood collected by a healthcare professional is used,” the multiple said.

Llloydspharmacy has “withdrawn the kits from sale pending this outcome,” it added. However, “given the evident consumer demand for such a service, we hope to be able to relaunch it in the next couple of weeks,” the multiple said.  

Superdrug told C+D yesterday that it has “temporarily halted the COVID-19 antibody testing service while conversations with the MHRA are still ongoing”.

What do you make of the MHRA's request?

Related Content


Stamford, Lincolnshire
£50-55,000 per annum

Apply Now
Latest News & Analysis
See All



Ask The Analyst

Please Note: You can also Click below Link for Ask the Analyst
Ask The Analyst

Thank you for submitting your question. We will respond to you within 2 business days. my@email.address.

All fields are required.

Please make sure all fields are completed.

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please enter a valid e-mail address

Please enter a valid Phone Number

Ask your question to our analysts