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OASH to Allow Licensed Pharmacists to Issue COVID-19 Tests

Learn what the Health and Human Services announcement means for licensed pharmacists and the PREP Act.

OASH authorized pharmacists to order and administer COVID-19 tests
COVID-19 tests must be FDA approved
Pharmacists will be considered "covered persons" under the PREP Act
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A primary component of the Health and Human Services fight against the COVID-19 pandemic is widening the availability to testing. On April 8th, they recognized that pharmacists are particularly well-positioned to expand access.

According to HHS Secretary Alex Azar:

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.1

The HHS specified a few reasons why pharmacies can be a key partner in the COVID-19 fight:

  • Most American’s live near a big-box, independent, or compounding pharmacy
  • Limiting travel times is an important mitigation measure
  • Pharmacists have relationships with healthcare providers to appropriately refer sick patients

As a result, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, an operating arm of the HHS, authorized licensed pharmacists to order and administer FDA-approved COVID-19 tests.

Furthermore, they’ll recognize them as “covered persons” under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP), an authorization that limits liability for claims of loss during a health emergency.

For more information, read the official release here.

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1 HHS