NCPA Statement on HHS Guidance Clarifying COVID-19 Testing by Pharmacists

New guidance says PREP Act preempts state, local rules limiting coronavirus testing by pharmacists

NCPA May 20, 2020

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (May 20, 2020) – The National Community Pharmacists Association issued the following statement today in reaction to new guidance issued by the federal Department of Health and Human Services overriding state and local rules preventing pharmacists from administering COVID-19 diagnostic tests:

“More widespread testing is the key to winning this battle. The faster we can expand testing, the sooner we can get back on our feet economically. Pharmacists are the country’s most accessible health care providers and they have been on the front lines since the beginning of the pandemic. They are well positioned to expand testing rapidly and safely.

“This new guidance by HHS demonstrates that pharmacists should be able to order and provide COVID-19 testing. During this pandemic, the federal government's position is that this emergency measure preempts arbitrary state and local rules that prevent pharmacists from serving their patients in a way the country desperately needs right now. There are 21,000 independent pharmacists across the country. Thanks to the secretary’s decision, they can now make an even bigger contribution to the war against COVID-19.”

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Founded in 1898, the National Community Pharmacists Association is the voice for the community pharmacist, representing over 21,000 pharmacies that employ approximately 250,000 individuals nationwide. Community pharmacies are rooted in the communities where they are located and are among America's most accessible health care providers. To learn more, visit