Of 764 women who presented to 23 pharmacies from December 2018 to April 2019, a lower UTI was found to be likely in 75% of cases, according to a study published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy-Antimicrobial Resistance last week (March 12).
Had the service been unavailable, around three-quarters of women would have visited their GP instead, the study found.
The research, which was funded by Boots and collected data from Boots pharmacies, was led by academics from the multiple, the University of Nottingham, the University of Leeds and the Department of Microbiology and Virology at University College London Hospitals.
Boots introduced a private UTI test-and-treat pilot service in January last year, which was subsequently rolled out to almost 300 branches in July.
NHS England followed suit and launched a pharmacy-led UTI test-and-treat pilot in 38 pharmacies last July.
Boots’ chief pharmacist Marc Donovan said the service “forms part of the important work that pharmacy is doing to tackle the wider issues affecting NHS overspending”.
“We’re confident that this service also supports the threat of antimicrobial resistance by making sure that antibiotics are only used when patients need them,” he added.
UTIs are the second most common condition to be prescribed antibiotics in English primary care, the study said.