Pharmacy in Scotland

Best Practice Case Study

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Pharmacist prescribing of antivirals during COVID


During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was an urgent need to safely prescribe antivirals for patients with COVID-19 in the community who were at highest risk of progression to severe disease.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde's pharmacy team innovated at pace to introduce the antiviral prescribing service.

When a patient on the high risk list for COVID tested positive, they received a text message asking them to contact an Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP) for clinical assessment.

The ANP then assessed eligibility before passing the patient to a pharmacist prescriber.

The pharmacist then assessed the patient's suitability for antivirals or monoclonal antibody to treat coronavirus (either Paxlovid, Sotrovimab or Molnupiravir). 

"Pharmacists are uniquely skilled in assessing and managing drug interactions"


Following assessment and consultation with the patient, the pharmacist, if appropriate, would prescribe the antiviral, which would then be dispensed from one of 15 community pharmacies in the region for collection or delivery. 

More than 160 pharmacists have been involved in the service, treating more than 3,000 patients. At the height of the pandemic, pharmacists were reviewing and prescribing for up to 70 patients a day.

The feedback from patient who were often anxious about their high-risk status and positive test result was excellent. Pharmacists are uniquely skilled in assessing and managing drug interactions, making them ideal professionals to lead on this work.







Audrey Thompson, Lead Pharmacist, Prescribing, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Email: [email protected]