The trial is evaluating whether the use of two common antibiotics, azithromycin and doxycycline can help people with COVID-19 symptoms recover at home, thereby reducing the need for hospital admissions. It is open to people who are aged over 50 with certain underlying health conditions, and to anyone over the age of 65.
A full list of criteria can be found here.
Community pharmacies can play a role in helping the trial team by signposting eligible candidates to the trial.
C+D is partnering with Professor Patel to raise awareness among its readers of the Principle COVID-19 clinical trial and to highlight how pharmacy teams across the UK can contribute to this crucial study, with the aim of getting at least 1,000 community pharmacies to take part.
Participating pharmacies will be recognised as a “PRINCIPLE Trial Supporting Pharmacy” on the trial’s website and will receive a certificate acknowledging their support when the trial comes to an end, according to Dr Patel.
If your pharmacy is interested in contributing to the trial, you will need to complete a short sign up form.
The PRINCIPLE team will then send you a poster that you can display in your pharmacy, to draw attention to the trial in your local community.
Commenting on the partnership with C+D, Professor Patel said: “I’m delighted to have C+D on board to champion this flagship trial, backed by the government, to help reduce the symptoms of COVID-19 early and therefore the likelihood of hospital admissions for those most affected by COVID-19.
“This is a huge opportunity for pharmacy colleagues to engage at a time where we need everybody’s help tackling this pandemic, but it also shows what pharmacy can do UK-wide,” he said.
C+D editor Beth Kennedy said: “We at C+D are so proud of all the work community pharmacists have done to keep patients safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, and this initiative is an extension of this work.
“This is an enormously exciting opportunity for the sector, and we are delighted to be working with Dr Patel and the PRINCIPLE trial on this project.”
The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee has also pledged its support for community pharmacy's involvement in the trial.