Pharmacies join the National Health System in detecting COVID-19 with self-diagnostic tests

Madrid, July 20, 2021. – The 21,137 Spanish community pharmacies join the National Health System in detecting COVID-19, once the Royal Decree that exempts the need for a prescription was approved today by the Council of Ministers to self-diagnostic tests for COVID-19. In this way, after months of waiting and once it is applied after its publication in the Official State Gazette (BOE), community pharmacists begin to strengthen the capacity for early detection as part of the health system, by dispensing to citizens of these tests.

Once the Royal Decree is approved and given the imminent start of dispensing without a prescription, the Collegiate Pharmaceutical Organization insists on the need that, in order to obtain the best results in epidemiological terms from these tests, it is necessary that the autonomous communities and the Associations of Pharmacists coordinate in the registration and notification of the data, as Navarra has already announced and is being studied in other autonomous regions. In this sense, the Collegiate Pharmaceutical Organization reiterates the predisposition of pharmacists to work on the development of joint protocols and information systems that allow the collection and exploitation of data together with those obtained from other structures and professionals in the system.

For Jesús Aguilar, president of the General Council of Pharmacists «exempting the need for a prescription facilitates access to these tests, as well as their dispensing in pharmacies guarantees their safety and proximity.» However, Aguilar defends that it is necessary to take “one more step and in addition to offering ourselves to help the citizen in the supervision and accompaniment in carrying out the test, we are working with the Ministry and the Autonomous Communities so that the pharmacist can incorporate the results to the epidemiological surveillance system to thus increase the effectiveness of early detection and proper management of the pandemic ”.

“Ultimately, it is good news that citizens have easier access to tests, which will make it possible to increase the diagnostic capacity of the National Health System, quickly identifying positive suspicions and thus effectively controlling the progression of the pandemic; a fact that will also allow to decongest the Primary Care structures once again subjected to great healthcare pressure in this fifth wave ”

VNR of the president of the CGCOF, Jesus Aguilar