The tests, with a “high” degree of reliability, will allow the result to be obtained in about 15 minutes
Pharmacists are already preparing to kick off the free sale of Covid self-diagnostic tests next week. The sector applauds the decision of the Ministry of Health to put aside its initial refusal to distribute these tests, claiming that they could give a false sense of security and that they were not entirely reliable. The group denounces, however, that the free sale of these tests – which in countries like Germany can even be bought in supermarkets – is late.
The president of the Official College of Pharmacists of the Region, Paula Payá, regrets “the delay of a measure that has already been underway for months in most European countries.” It also points out that “the pharmacy network is an instrument with great potential to increase diagnostic capacity and thus lower healthcare pressure in Primary Care.” In this sense, he adds that “the tests will be very useful in detecting asymptomatic patients.”
The tests, which foreseeably can begin to be purchased next week in pharmacies in the Region, are called ‘in vitro’, similar to pregnancy tests. Its degree of reliability is “high”. They work by detecting the virus protein generally through nasopharyngeal or nasal exudate – just like when a PCR is done – although in some cases it can be done with a saliva sample.
Payá remarks that it has “great potential to increase diagnostic capacity” and lower pressure in Primary
Sources from the Official College of Pharmacists of the Region explained that the tests can be carried out at home and that the result will be made to wait for about 15 minutes.
The price has not yet been specified and must be specified in the Royal Decree that Health approves next week. In Europe, however, the cost of these tests ranges between five and ten euros. From the Regional College they stressed that the price will be “accessible.”
“Clear rebound in cases”
Pharmacies in the Region, he notes, “are prepared to dispense the Covid self-diagnosis tests and contribute with early detection to contain the fifth wave.” Payá emphasizes that “the accessibility” of the Covid diagnostic tests to the population “is very necessary in the current scenario with a clear rebound in cases.” It also advances that the College is finalizing a practical guide that will be distributed among the 569 pharmacy offices in the community with all the basic information to guarantee “a dispensing with the maximum guarantees of efficacy and safety.”
Pharmacists, he emphasizes, “we are going to be available to citizens to offer advice on how to proceed in carrying out the tests and clear up any doubts about what to do based on the result.” He emphasized that “our will is to go one step further and collaborate with Public Health in the communication of results in order to be able to monitor and trace positive cases.”
The president of the regional College of Pharmacists trusts that next week the Council of Ministers will give the green light to this preventive measure that will help quickly locate possible positive cases and therefore “put a siege to the expansion of the coronavirus.”