Boots UK, the largest pharmacy-led health and beauty chain in the UK, and Alliance Healthcare, the UK’s largest medical wholesaler and partner to the NHS, both part of Walgreens Boots Alliance, have donated 500,000 2mg Almus Dexamethasone tablets to the NHS in a joint commitment to the NHS and UK patients in support of the fight against COVID-19.
The decision came when UK experts at RECOVERY clinical trial* announced the benefits of Dexamethasone in June, describing how the low-dose steroid treatment can reduce fatalities by up to one third in hospitalised patients with severe respiratory complications of COVID-19.
Working together, Julian Mount, Alliance Healthcare UK Managing Director and Seb James, Managing Director of Boots UK and ROI, wrote letters to Sir Simon Stevens, Chief Executive Officer of the NHS and Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with an offer to donate the lifesaving medicine to the NHS and support the major breakthrough in the fight against COVID-19.
Alliance Healthcare UK has recently completed delivery of the 500,000 2mg Almus Dexamethasone tablets to Public Heath England, who are holding stockpiles of medicines to be distributed to the NHS hospitals across the UK, as and when needed. Julian Mount commented: “The outcome presented a fantastic opportunity for Alliance Healthcare and Boots UK to further demonstrate their support and friendship to the NHS.”
Seb James added: “In times of national pandemic, and as we see incident rates rising, we believe that it’s the duty of all businesses to do what they can to support the national effort and fight against COVID-19. I believe that this donation is another way that we can practically offer our support to the NHS and Government, and we feel very proud to do so.”
John Southall, Senior Pharmacy Purchasing Technician at Mid and South Essex University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It was evident from early COVID-19 trials that Dexamethasone was very important in the treatment of severely ill patients as it was shown to improve symptoms very quickly in some patients, consequently preventing many patients progressing on to requiring costly mechanical ventilation and long term hospital care.”
Commenting on the donation John Southall adds: “It was very generous and civic minded of Alliance Healthcare to donate this quantity to the NHS. The quantity fed into the Central Stock Pile was vast, and exceeded actual requirements.”
* Recovery – Randomised Evaluation of COVID-19 Therapy (online), 16 June 2020