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HHS Authorizes Licensed Pharmacists to Order and Administer COVID-19 Tests

9 Apr 2020 10:45 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Wed. April 8, 2020, the HHS 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.

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."

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."

Please note per Tom Buckley, CSHP Legislative Chair: This is federal authorization. Connecticut has not yet released anything with regard to procedure, regulation or reimbursement. The Governor announced that CVS will be having 2 drive-through testing sites in CT within a week or so (Stamford and New London).  We don't know if pharmacists will be ordering and administering at these sites.

Related Information

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

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

Priorities for testing patients with suspected COVID-19 infection are available here - PDF.

About CSHP

Since 1948, the Connecticut Society of Health-System Pharmacists has represented the professional interests and provided professional development for CT pharmacists, educators and pharmacists in training.

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