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Pharmacy Collect: Use up Innova test kits before giving out new brand

Pharmacies should exhaust their existing stock of Innova lateral flow test kits first when Alliance Healthcare starts delivering a new brand of rapid COVID-19 tests, PSNC has said.

Community Pharmacy Scotland told C+D today that the same advice applies to the 1,212 pharmacies providing the lateral flow test kit collection service in Scotland.

Pharmacies signed up to the Pharmacy Collect service will start receiving the Acon Flowflex tests from Alliance Healthcare “once existing stock of the Innova test kits has been distributed”, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) said in an update this afternoon (July 28).

It is important that contractors finish their stock of Innova tests before they start supplying the Acon Flowflex tests, PSNC added.

Main differences

The Acon Flowflex tests are nasal-swab only tests and provide results in 15 minutes, PSNC said.

“The test should not be left to develop for longer than 30 minutes as this will void the test and will need to be repeated,” PSNC added.

Pharmacists should continue to advise patients to follow the instructions on how to use the tests, PSNC said.

One carton of Acon FlowFlex test kits contains 56 kits – versus the 54 boxes in the Innova carton – and its dimensions also differ from the Innova carton, but PSNC reassured that this “will not affect the weekly reporting requirement for stock received”.

Contractors can use the same PIP code (8943995) to order LFD tests for the time being, PSNC added.

C+D has asked the Department of Health and Social Care (DH) whether the UK government has decided to stop purchasing the Innova tests.

Last month, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) told US citizens to stop using the Innova SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Qualitative Test for diagnostic use and “place them in the trash”.

But a DH spokesperson told C+D at the time that the “Innova test has already gone through the UK’s rigorous Porton Down assessment process, and we have a robust quality assurance process in place”.

C+D has approached Community Pharmacy Wales to understand whether PSNC’s guidance is valid in Wales, too.

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