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Alliance Healthcare, the UK’s largest medical wholesaler and partner to the NHS, and Boots UK, the largest pharmacy-led health and beauty chain in the UK, 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.”
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.”
Julian Mount said: “The hard work and dedication of the NHS to patients across the UK continues to amaze me and I hope the recent donation of Almus Dexamethasone will help to save lives and support the incredible efforts of NHS teams.”
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.”
Additional NHS quotes:
John Southall, Senior Pharmacy Purchasing Technician at Mid and South Essex University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust: ““As Dexamethasone is one of the proven front line treatments, it is extremely important for adequate stocks to be made available and for them to be accessible quickly and easy.”
Dawn Bates, Procurement Technician Manager, NHS University Hospital Wales: “A moderate dose of Dexamethasone reduced mortality in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 and respiratory failure who required therapy with supplemental oxygen or mechanical ventilation. It is vital that hospitals have extra stocks of Dexamethasone to be able to help treat suitable patients with respiratory failure.
“With the uncertainty of numbers ever increasing with COVID-19 patients admitted to hospital it is vital that hospitals have extra stocks of Dexamethasone to be able to help treat suitable patients with respiratory failure.”
Rhys Martin, Pharmacy Technician, NHS Wales: “From a Oncology Perspective; Dexamethasone is also a massive supportive medicine in the treatment of side effects from oncology drugs. We’ve noticed supply chain issues with Dexamethasone in recent months as a result of COVID demand.”
 Recovery – Randomised Evaluation of COVID-19 Therapy (online), 16 June 2020: https://www.recoverytrial.net/news/low-cost-dexamethasone-reduces-death-by-up-to-one-third-in-hospitalised-patients-with-severe-respiratory-complications-of-covid-19