Pharmacists have been able to administer Prolia (denosumab) injections at three Lloydspharmacy branches in Birmingham since January to osteoporosis patients at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.
Lloydspharmacy told C+D last week (April 17) it is “keen to extend the service beyond the pilot and we’re optimistic about being able to offer comparable services to this and other [NHS] trusts in the future”.
“There’s been a lot of interest in the denosumab service and we are working with clinicians at the [University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation] Trust to encourage them to recommend more patients for our community-based service,” the multiple added.
The service is a partnership with the trust, and is partly funded by Prolia manufacturer Amgen, with treatment offered to patients free of charge.
Nav Kaur, pharmacy manager at the Lloydspharmacy branch in Frankley, Birmingham, who administered the service’s first injection in March, told C+D she is “proud” and “very excited to be part of something so innovative”.
Denosumab is a monoclonal antibody, Ms Kaur explained. “It inhibits RANK ligand, the protein needed in the osteoclasts, which are the cells that break down the bones.”
Jill Pritchard, head of speciality pharmacy at Lloydspharmacy parent company Celesio UK, said: “Traditionally, patients will travel to their hospital every six months to receive their denosumab injections, which we all know can be inconvenient and time-consuming.
“We also know that this can add to the capacity and cost challenges at many NHS trusts.”
“This is a great opportunity to demonstrate the valuable role community pharmacy can play in supporting the NHS to meet patient needs,” Ms Pritchard added.
Lloydspharmacy healthcare centre model
The injection service has been introduced as part Lloydspharmacy's healthcare centre model, which Celesio UK launched in December 2017, as a way to “provide an alternative for patients who may not like...travelling to hospital every week for treatment”.
The denosumab injections have been made available at branches on 128/130 High Street, Kings Heath; 18 Arden Road, Frankley; and 228 Wychall Road in Birmingham.
Read C+D’s exclusive interview with Ms Kaur on her experience of administering the service’s first injection here.