Pharmacists Authorized To Administer COVID-19 Tests

Pharmacists deliver convenient access to coronavirus services, treatments and trusted information
Healthcare looking at a test

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health issued new guidance under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act authorizing licensed pharmacists to order and administer COVID-19 tests that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized.

On April 8, 2020, HHS Secretary Alex Azar issued the following statement: "Giving pharmacists the authorization to order and administer COVID-19 tests to their patients means easier access to testing for Americans who need it.”

“Pharmacists play a vital role in delivering convenient access to important public health services and information.” 

The Trump Administration is pleased to give pharmacists the chance to play a bigger role in the COVID-19 response, alongside all of America's heroic healthcare workers."

Additionally, HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Brett P. Giroir, M.D. issued the following statement: "In an effort to expand testing capabilities, we are authorizing licensed pharmacists to order and administer COVID-19 tests to their patients.” 

“The accessibility and distribution of retail and independent community-based pharmacies make pharmacists the first point of contact with a healthcare professional for many Americans.” 

“This will further expand testing for Americans, particularly our healthcare workers and first responders who are working around the clock to provide care, compassion, and safety to others."

As of April 7, 2020, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have successfully verified COVID-19 diagnostic tests and are offered by 150 testing services. 

To date, 30 emergency use authorizations have been issued for diagnostic tests under the policies set forth in the COVID-19 Policy for Diagnostic Tests for Coronavirus Disease-2019 during the Public Health Emergency Guidance.

There are various laboratory tests that can identify the virus that causes COVID-19 in respiratory specimens. 

Tests such as Real-Time Reverse Transcriptase (RT)-PCR Diagnostic Panels can provide results in 4 to 6 hours, says the CDC. 

The FDA recently began granting Emergency Use Authorization to rapid diagnostic PCR tests that manufacturers say can deliver results in less than 15 minutes.

This is a different type of test that involves analyzing a person’s blood for the presence or absence of a particular antibody or for the amount of antibody that is present.

OASH's Guidance for Licensed Pharmacists, COVID-19 Testing, and Immunity under the PREP Act is available here.

FDA's Emergency Use Authorizations for diagnostic and therapeutic medical devices to diagnose and respond to public health emergencies is available here.

COVID-19 disease pandemic news published by Precision Vaccinations.