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What is the demand for lateral flow tests now that free access has ended?

Healthcare workers battled to keep patients safe as hospitals overflowed during the midst of the pandemic. Now, just over two years on, the UK Government chose to end free access to lateral flow tests on the 1st of April 2022. In the following weeks, supply chain concerns swept across the country due to a shortage of lateral flow tests, with some pharmacies reporting they had simply run out of stock.

Paid lateral flow tests have shaken the commercial market with pharmacies expected to stock high volumes of tests for those who are in need of ordering LFTs.

Demand of LFTs

But, although free access has ended, has the demand for lateral flow tests halted as well? Continued demand for lateral flow tests is remaining steady within the UK, as infection rates continue to rise during May. Since the 1st of April, the commercial market that supplies lateral flow tests has boomed. Figures show that there is a continuous process of testing from the public and the importance for pharmacies and resellers to stock lateral flow tests for those that cannot access them for free is clear.

The pandemic is far from over. According to Government data, 26,280 new cases confirmed a positive test result for Covid on the 9th of May 2022. Compared to the last seven days there has been an increase of 41,835 positive cases reported.

Importance of continued testing

Although Government guidance states there is no longer any need to test and isolate, many members of the public are choosing to continue. Keeping others safe is everyone’s main priority, especially those deemed as vulnerable. Testing is crucial not only within our personal lives but within a busy workforce, it is vital to keep an outbreak to the minimum by continued testing, to reduce the interference to the supply chain or business operations. The only way for the public to gain peace of mind is to test, especially if symptoms are present.

People that aren’t testing due to work or symptoms are testing due to travel. As soon as we were able to travel abroad, holiday bookings surged. You only need to turn on the news to see the chaos in airports and passport office queues. Many countries still have restrictions in place, requiring either a vaccinated status or a negative covid test result to enter their country. Holidaymakers are heading down to their local pharmacy, where they know they can get hold of an approved covid test, to deem them fit to travel.

Pharmacies stocking LFTs

A recent YouGov study found that one in four Britons say they would still test after having to pay for a lateral flow test if they had symptoms and the majority would still stay at home if they had symptoms. If you are showing symptoms of Covid the first place you would think and trust to buy a lateral flow test is from a pharmacy. Pharmacies are a convenient and local option for the public to collect test kits from. The need for pharmacies to stock lateral flow tests is crucial, to not only provide for customers’ needs but create extra revenue through a less resource-intensive route.

Our LFT offering

We understand there are numerous brands of lateral flow tests out there, which can make it daunting when choosing the right brand to sell in your store. At Dr. Adams Laboratories, we stock several brands including FlowFlex, Healgen, and LYHER which are all used by Public Health England, fully government approved, and are:

· Fast

· Accurate

· Easy to use

· Supplied reliably

· CE marked

· CTDA listed

Government-set targets are encouraging sectors to reduce their environmental impacts. In light of this we have worked alongside one of our brands LYHER, to create more sustainable packaging, that is lighter, smaller, and uses less plastic than competitors. By repackaging its product, it has dramatically reduced the space that had been previously used in transport by freight. The environmental element of the new packaging reduces the carbon footprint and logistical costs of the tests, creating a sustainable and cost-effective supply chain.

LYHER has the fastest lead time with production times of 1-2 days from order and a general turnaround (including delivery) within a week. Meaning those who require a consistent supply of tests in variable volume orders have their stock virtually instantaneously without paying over the odds.

The benefits of LYHER lateral flow tests are endless. The test can detect the nucleocapsid protein, as well as having a two-year shelf life, with a 99.6% specificity.

Promote test availability in-store

Our services don’t just stop there! Our branding service enables us to create branded brochures and POS to promote test availability in your pharmacy; to create wider customer awareness.

Although lateral flow tests aren’t being provided for free anymore, the demand is continuing. It is crucial for pharmacies to keep up with the ongoing demand. If you require multiple runs or bulk orders, we will work with you to achieve the correct solution. Speak to one of our experts today.

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