It has been claimed on Facebook and Twitter that Boots is selling taxpayer-funded lateral flow tests back to the public. This is not true.
The post reads: “I’m curious why Boots have been given all those lateral flow tests the taxpayer has already paid for to sell back to us again.”
Lateral flow tests were available for free via the publicly-funded NHS Test and Trace service in England. However, from 1 April, free tests in England ended for most people.
The UK Health Security Agency told Full Fact there was no truth in the social media post’s claim.
A spokesperson said: “Unused tests procured by NHS Test and Trace are not given to private providers. Private providers must procure their own stock and in fact the tests that are for sale in Boots are not the same as the ones provided by NHS Test and Trace.”
Boots previously offered free lateral flow tests supplied by the NHS, as did many chemists, but confirmed to Full Fact that the lateral flow tests now being sold in its stores are not supplied by the NHS or the government but are purchased from a range of suppliers.
The Facebook post also claims that the chief executive of Boots is pictured in the infamous Bullingdon Club image that features David Cameron and Boris Johnson. It has previously been reported that Sebastian James, the senior vice president and managing director of Boots, does indeed appear in this image.
Photo by Howard Lake via Flickr.