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Superdrug launches COVID-19 antibody test

Patients can collect a blood sample at home, and send the test off for processing in a laboratory.
Patients can collect a blood sample at home, and send the test off for processing in a laboratory.

Superdrug has launched a COVID-19 antibody blood test, available through its online doctor service.

The COVID-19 antibody home sampling kit, which costs £69 and is on sale from today (May 20), analyses a blood sample provided by the patient to test whether they have had COVID-19 in the past and have recovered.

The blood sample must be taken at least 14 days after a patient has presented with COVID-19 symptoms, or it can be used at any time if an individual has never experienced symptoms.

The sample is then sent back to an accredited lab for processing, with the results available in two to three days.

The multiple said today that “all of the components of the home sampling test kits are CE marked and the test run by a United Kingdom Accreditation Service-accredited laboratory”.

A CE mark is granted to a product when it has been deemed safe for use by European Economic Area standards.

The tests will only be available online, via Superdrug’s online doctor service and customers will not be able to purchase them in-store.

Superdrug claims the test “has a sensitivity of 97.5%” and that it “has a specificity of 100%, which means it will not give you a positive result if you do not have coronavirus antibodies”.

Superdrug healthcare director Michael Henry, said the test is Public Health England certified and provides an “accessible way for people to know whether they have already been infected with COVID-19”.

However, Superdrug’s doctor ambassador Dr Zoe Williams stressed that testing positive for having had the virus “does not confer immunity”.

“It is important that people understand [that] a positive test result does not mean you can be any more relaxed with the required hygiene and social distancing measures set out by the government,” she added.

Does your pharmacy sell COVID-19 tests?

Adam Hall, Community pharmacist

If Superdrug can supply tests to the great unwashed, why can't the Government.

Oh, wait.... I see!

Seems odd to pay for something that will be free soon, I guess some people will be impatient enough to throw £70 away. There certainly is money to be made from a crisis.

Not-So-Lucky Ex-Locum, Superintendent Pharmacist

And apparently it isn't legal? Is this right??

Benie I, Locum pharmacist

Legality is irrelevant, Rudkin and the GPhC will give their stamp of approval.

Richard MacLeavy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

From my understanding the home test kits which deliver a result at home are illegal, however the ones which offer lab analysied results such as superdrugs are legal if they have CE approval. 

Not-So-Lucky Ex-Locum, Superintendent Pharmacist

Hmmmmm. Daily Mail sensationalism then.

Leon The Apothecary, Student

Yeah, the joy of the Daily Fail. My personal favourite is the list of things that they say will cause cancer including:

Being Male
Being Female
Drinking Water
Breathing Oxygen

Not-So-Lucky Ex-Locum, Superintendent Pharmacist

You missed out eating food (or not eating food....)

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