Post sponsored by

Source: United Kingdom – Executive Government & Departments

It has been reported that the pharmaceutical company Roche, who provide materials for COVID-19 diagnostic tests, have issues in processing capacity.


Professor Xiaojun Wang, Professor of Operations Management at the University of Bristol, said:

“Roche supply problems could have a significant impact on the COVID-19 Test and Trace system depending on the inventory level of swabs, screening kits and reagents in the labs and how long this supply disruption lasts. 

“This supply problem occurs at very bad timing when the UK is experiencing a new wave of increasing COVID-19 infections and the surging demand for testing. It is difficult to contain infections and curb the increasing trend without increasing testing capability and tracing the contacts of the confirmed coronavirus cases in a timely manner.     

“Although we haven’t seen any evidence of a drop in testing capacity and tests processed in the recent government daily updates, the next few days’ test figures need to be closely watched to assess its real impact. It certainly adds more difficulty in achieving the UK’s daily testing capacity to 500,000 by the end of October.   

“While Roche promises to prioritise the dispatch of COVID-19 PCR and antibody tests, the supply problems will also affect other NHS services (e.g., diagnosis and testing other illnesses), which have already been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“It is critical for Roche to quickly solve this problem in their new warehouse. It is also important for the NHS Test and Trace programme to work closely with other main diagnostic tests suppliers to increase their supply capacity to mitigate the impacts of the Roche supply problem.”    

Prof Derek Hill, Professor of medical imaging science, UCL, and expert in medical devices, said:

“Swiss company Roche diagnostics is a world leader in diagnostic tests. They reconfigured their warehousing ahead of Brexit to manage risks of disruption to supply chains arising from the UK’s departure from the EU. It seems there are some logistics problems in the new facilities that are impacting the COVID testing supply chain. Hopefully these issues will be sorted soon before they have a significant impact on testing capacity.”

All our previous output on this subject can be seen at this weblink:

Declared interests

Prof Derek Hill: No conflicts of interest

None others received.

MIL OSI United Kingdom