The Office of the General Counsel at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued an advisory opinion stating that HHS's guidance authorizing pharmacists to order and administer COVID-19 tests pursuant to the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act supersedes any state law that would prohibit pharmacists from ordering tests.
Specifically, the advisory opinion refers to utilizing a "qualified person" for COVID-19 response. HHS Secretary Alex Azar declared pharmacists to be a "qualified person" for the purposes of ordering and administering COVID-19 tests on April 8.
ASHP has actively advocated for the ability for pharmacists to order and administer tests in response to COVID-19. We will continue to work with our state affiliates on implementation of emergency orders and seek information on reimbursement for services from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. We are following up with HHS to determine whether this nationwide authority to conduct testing applies to influenza in addition to COVID-19.