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Lloyds asks its 1,400 branches to help find COVID-19 trial volunteers

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Lloydspharmacy will ask its staff to “engage with customers and patients” about the trial

Lloydspharmacy is encouraging its teams to help find suitable patients for an Oxford University COVID-19 clinical trial, C+D has learned.

Lloydspharmacy teams will be asked to display a poster of the PRINCIPLE COVID-19 trial – run by the University of Oxford – in their pharmacies, and “engage with customers and patients where they can about the project”, a spokesperson told C+D last week (October 29).

The multiple will use its network of more than 1,400 pharmacies to raise awareness of the trial – which is evaluating whether the use of two common antibiotics, azithromycin and doxycycline, can help people with COVID-19 symptoms recover at home.

Lloydspharmacy is partnering with Professor Mahendra Patel – who in September was appointed as national black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) community and pharmacy lead for the PRINCIPLE COVID-19 clinical trial – to help bring attention to the initiative.

“By reducing COVID-19 symptoms we help reduce the number people being admitted to hospital and that’s more important than ever as we head into winter,” the spokesperson said.

“The NHS is already facing significant pressures and as the front door to the NHS, it’s vital we do all that we can to help prevent and protect [it] over the coming months”, they added.

“Come together to support the trial”

Commenting on the partnership, Lloydspharmacy superintendent pharmacist Steve Howard told C+D the multiple is “delighted to be partnering with Professor Patel”.

“Our extensive community pharmacy network and presence will help reach out to a wide range of communities and we hope the sector will come together to support the trial team by signposting eligible candidates to the project.

“Pharmacy plays a key part in the health and wellbeing of their local communities and this is a huge opportunity to demonstrate what we can achieve when we all work together,” Mr Howard said.

Professor Patel told C+D last week (October 29): “It’s great to see Lloydspharmacy championing the urgent public health PRINCIPLE trial with me.

“With Lloydspharmacy having so many BAME staff working for them, it is important that they and their families are also made aware of this [trial], as well as the communities that they serve.”

Last week (October 27), Well also announced its intention to publicise the trial from this week. It pledged to reach local communities through its 750 pharmacies and to set up a page on its website signposting to the trial.

C+D is campaigning with Professor Patel to find 1,000 pharmacies to contribute to the PRINCIPLE trial. Read our news story about this for more on how your pharmacy can contribute to the research.

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