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Superstore opts out of flu drug service.

SAINSBURY'S will opt out of distributing Tamiflu over fears it might encourage swine flu victims into its supermarkets, it was revealed yesterday.

While some Sainsbury's in-store pharmacies are supplying the drug as an "interim measure", there are no plans for the chain to become an official collection point.

Tesco and Asda have signed up some of their pharmacies as collection points for people needing Tamiflu.

A spokesman for Sainsbury's said: "Whilst some Sainsbury's pharmacies are supplying Tamiflu under interim measures, it has never been agreed that those pharmacies will operate as a designated anti-viral collection point for primary care trusts.

"A supermarket, with thousands of daily visitors, is not a suitable collection point as it would lead to increased risk to shoppers and colleagues."

The supermarket told the Health Service Journal (HSJ) some of its pharmacies may have been approached by primary care trusts asking if they could become collection points for the drugs.

Asked why Sainsbury's head office would not allow individual pharmacies to do this, a spokesman told the HSJ: "It would draw a lot of potentially unwell people into our stores."

A Unison spokeswoman said the attitude was in "stark contrast" to that of NHS staff and it was "the friend, not the ill person, who will collect the drugs".
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jul 25, 2009
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