Pharmacy teams are being encouraged to support the ground-breaking Platform Adaptive trial of Novel antivirals for early treatment of Covid-19 In the Community (PANORAMIC) study by raising awareness among patients.
The study aims to find out whether new antiviral treatments can help Covid-19 patients avoid hospital admission and support a quicker recovery.
The PANORAMIC trial will allow researchers to gather data on the potential benefits of treatments to patients and will help the NHS to develop plans for rolling out the products to further patients in 2022.
Anyone over the age of 50 or between 18 to 49 with certain underlying health conditions can participate in the trial after receiving a positive PCR or lateral flow test result for Covid-19.
People who wish to participate in the trial can sign up themselves through the study’s website and may be contacted by a member of the clinical team in a general practice that has been set up to deliver the PANORAMIC trial.
They can even participate from their own home from anywhere in the UK, requiring no face-to-face visits.
To support the trial, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) suggested pharmacy teams to display the poster about the study in their pharmacy and encourage those who have tested positive for Covid-19 to come forward.
They could also highlight the study while supplying lateral flow tests to people or use social media to create awareness, the negotiator said.
Commenting on the importance of recruiting a diverse range of people to the trial and pharmacy’s role in this, professor Mahendra G Patel, the PANORAMIC trial’s Pharmacy, and Inclusion and Diversity lead, University of Oxford said: “It’s important that we continue to recruit patients from all backgrounds and from different ethnic origins as well as those living in areas of high deprivation in order to be inclusive and representative of the British diaspora.
“We must try to make more effective use all our networks across different settings and organisations to HELP get behind this on a priority basis, so that we can quickly establish how these new antivirals can be effective and made available to those who need it the most.”
So far, more than 9,000 vulnerable people have enrolled for the PANORAMIC study, but more volunteers are urgently needed to come forward and join the trial, he added.
Professor Patel said that pharmacy can play a crucial role in recruiting volunteers due to its vast network through which it can help reach out to communities from all backgrounds.
Lauding the efforts of community pharmacy during the pandemic, he said, “it has relentlessly provided during the pandemic, overcoming unbelievable levels of difficulties and challenges.
“I feel once again, we as pharmacy can play our part in this pandemic to help in the search for effective treatment of Covid-19 in the community through supporting public health and reducing health inequalities by making the PANORAMIC trial as visible as possible and accessible to all.
“Pharmacy has not only kept us going during the pandemic, but it can also play a vital role in helping us all to come out of it. Let’s make history together, for us, our loved ones and everyone everywhere.”