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Everything pharmacy teams need to know about COVID-19

On March 18, NHS England pledged to protect pharmacies’ income

With the COVID-19 pandemic creating news at breakneck speed, C+D presents all the essential information on the topic to help pharmacists manage the crisis

It can be tricky to keep up with the news about COVID-19. To ease the process, C+D has collected a summary of all its coverage on the virus’s impact on pharmacy, so readers can find everything affecting them in one article. The feed is divided into pharmacy news, supply news, clinical information and opinion articles.

This page will be updated with future C+D articles on COVID-19.

Click on the link to jump to the section impact of COVID-19 on pharmacy that you need:

How is pharmacy being affected?

What is happening to the supply of healthcare products?

What clinical information do I need to know?

What do pharmacy professionals think about the crisis?

Pharmacy updates

March 19: The government is “seeking to commission” community pharmacies to supply medicines without a prescription and deliver medicines to vulnerable patients, the PSNC announced today.

Pharmacies left without a responsible pharmacist or locum cover will be able to stay open to supply dispensed medicines during the COVID-19 outbreak, pharmacy regulators have said.

Business rate “holidays” have been extended to all retailers to support companies dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, the chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced.

March 18: NHS England has pledged to protect pharmacies’ income as the UK prepares for the “peak” of the COVID-19 outbreak.

March 17: NPA and CCA have asked patients to “act responsibly” and not stockpile medicines, while AIMp has called for “emergency” funding.

The GPhC has announced it is stopping all routine inspections from today.

March 16: PHE has advised against the use of COVID-19 tests in community pharmacies and at home.

Financial pressures caused by COVID-19 may cause pharmacies to close permanently unless the government provides a funding boost, PSNC chief executive Simon Dukes has said.

March 13: The government has announced its spending plans for the year ahead, with a focus on small businesses and statutory sick pay for those affected by COVID-19.

The GPhC could grant temporary registration to 5,800 pharmacists and pharmacy technicians no longer on its register if an emergency is declared during the COVID-19 outbreak.

March 9: The national antimicrobial stewardship clinical audit for 2019/2020 has been waived to allow pharmacies to focus on implementing COVID-19 prevention tactics.

March 6: The GPhC has said it will take COVID-19 into account if it receives concerns related to professionals on its register where the virus is a factor.

March 2: NHS England has released COVID-19 guidance for community pharmacy, including advice on isolating patients.

Supply issues

March 10: PHE is “working with wholesalers” to replenish stocks in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, England’s chief pharmaceutical officer Keith Ridge has said.

March 6: The CMA has called on retailers to “behave responsibly” and not increase prices during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Boots and Lloyds have confirmed they are limiting customers to two bottles of hand sanitiser each as bulk buying of the product increases with the spread of the COVID-19.

February 21: An online pharmacy has seen sales of hand sanitisers increase over 1,000% in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.

February 13: Businesses have been told to “retain existing stockpiles” of medicines as a precautionary measure as the DH evaluates the COVID-19 impact.

February 12: Businesses have been told to “retain existing stockpiles” of medicines as a precautionary measure as the DH) evaluates the COVID-19 impact.

January 31: UK pharmacies are selling out of face masks and struggling to get them from wholesalers, as the Wuhan novel COVID-19 outbreak drives up demand.

Clinical advice

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a large family of viruses that can be transmitted between animals and people.

Team support

How pharmacy teams can best support patients during the COVID-19 crisis

Treating patients with COVID-19

What can you tell concerned patients about preventing the transmission of COVID-19?


How and when should you use hand sanitiser and wash your hands to protect yourself against and prevent the spread of COVID-19?

Symptoms of COVID-19

What is the difference in symptoms between cold or the flu and COVID-19?

COVID-19 Opinion

COVID-19 means the government must reconsider pharmacy funding to help independent businesses tackle the crisis, NPA board member Olivier Picard says

Read more about COVID-19 on C+D’s hub.

How is covid-19 affecting your pharmacy team?

Sandhya Haria, Community pharmacist

I'm shocked that some pharmacies have not introduced social distancing measures within their premises! Crowds of vunerable patients waiting for their meds! It's crazy.
As a healthcare provider, we should be having controls within the pharmacy.

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Pharmacist Manager
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