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NACDS applauds White House decision to approve pharmacist-provided COVID-19 testing

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Move empowers pharmacists to provide critical patient care.

WASHINGTON — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS)  welcomed on Wednesday new federal guidance authorizing licensed pharmacists to order and administer COVID-19 tests that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized. The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, issued the guidance under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act.

steve anderson

Steven Anderson

NACDS president and CEO Steven Anderson, hailed the announcement, saying: “The Trump Administration, Secretary Azar and Assistant Secretary Giroir have made an important move to empower pharmacists to provide critical patient care in an expanded way in the nation’s response to COVID-19. Pharmacies and pharmacists already have demonstrated they are here to lead, and will continue to rise to respond to this nation’s most significant health crisis. We look forward to continuing to work with leaders at all levels of government to remove barriers to patient care so pharmacists and pharmacies will be fully empowered and prepared to serve the nation.”

Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar said in a 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., said in the same 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.”

NACDS in March issued an open letter to the White House, to Congressional leadership, and to governors regarding urgent needs to help pharmacies and pharmacists meet the needs of those affected by COVID-19 and by other illnesses that otherwise could go unmanaged given the pandemic. The open letter contains detailed recommendations that NACDS has urged dating back to the earliest days of concerns about COVID-19.


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