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Pharmacy First: sore throat

This series is written for pharmacy teams and aims to prepare the whole team for their involvement in the Pharmacy First service. It focuses on understanding the service, how to refer and how to manage those not eligible for referral, with OTC recommendations and advice. With patients now able to access treatment for seven common conditions directly from their local pharmacy, what is the role for pharmacy teams in navigating the sore throat element of the service?

England’s Pharmacy First scheme launched on 31 January 2024 giving patients access to prescription-only medicines, with antibiotics and antivirals where clinically appropriate, to treat seven common health conditions, including sore throat. People can get treatment by walking into the pharmacy or contacting them virtually. GP receptionists, NHS 111 and providers of emergency care will also be able to direct patients into the pharmacy.

Starting with the sore throat element of Pharmacy First, there are many ways that the whole pharmacy team can help with the service…

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