COVID-19 Testing in Pharmacies


Featured Updates

Testing Basics Resource

FAQ on the basics of COVID-19 tests, including molecular, antigen and antibody tests; testing activities; and counseling patients.

COVID-19 Testing Models

Interactive step-by-step overview of two pharmacy testing models—specimen collection in partnership with a laboratory, and point-of-care testing.

Guide to Tests Resource

FAQ on how COVID-19 tests are authorized, which tests are appropriate for your pharmacy setting, and obtaining a CLIA Certificate of Waiver.

Public Resource Links

CMS's FAQ on access to and reimbursement for Over-The-Counter COVID-19 Tests (January 12, 2022)

CDC's interim guidelines for COVID-19 testing (Real-Time)

FDA advises - Beware of Fraudulent Coronavirus Tests, Vaccines and Treatments – and provides information about what to look for and how to report fraud (November 18, 2021)

FDA's Recommendations on Providing Clear Instructions to Patients Who Self-Collect an Anterior Nares (Nasal) Sample in a Health Care Setting for SARS-CoV-2 Testing - Letter to Health Care Providers (October 7, 2020)

Authority to Test

Authority to Test for COVID-19: Pharmacists, Pharmacy Technicians, and Pharmacy Interns (November 4, 2020)
FAQ on pharmacist, pharmacy intern, and technician authority from the federal level to the state level, including the HHS actions and the requirements that must be met. (APhA Know the Facts - PDF)

Public Resource Links

View HHS guidance authorizing licensed pharmacists to order and administer COVID-19 tests that FDA has authorized.(April 8, 2020)

HHS issued an advisory opinion concluding that licensed pharmacists may order and administer COVID-19 tests even in states that prohibit licensed pharmacists from ordering and administering these tests. (May 19, 2020)



Preparing to


Fraudulent Activity

APhA Know the Facts: COVID-19 Fraudulent Medical Products and Scams: Protecting Pharmacists and Patients (August 12, 2020)

Don’t unsuspectingly fall prey to these offers, and be armed with information to warn your patients. Awareness also helps you ask your patients targeted questions if they describe unexpected side effects from drugs or unexplained symptoms. (APhA Know the Facts - PDF)

Fraudulent Activity Related to Tests and Medical Products (April 2, 2020)

Fraudulent activity related to COVID-19 tests and medical products was the focus of this weekly webinar. (APhA Open Forum Webinar - Video - Slides)

Advocacy on Testing

APhA Urges CMS to Maximize the Use of Pharmacists to Respond to COVID-19 (November 2)

APhA is working with CMS to maximize the use of pharmacists to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. APhA continues to emphasize the need for CMS to provide direct reimbursement for COVID-19 testing and all testing-related services provided in all eligible pharmacies.

APhA Urges Congress to Authorize Pharmacists’ COVID Testing and Immunization Services under Medicare in Next Pandemic Bill (July 24)

In a letter delivered on July 24 to Congressional Leadership, APhA requested immediate action to address the growing need to expand COVID-19 testing and immunization services by providing all pharmacists with temporary provider status in Medicare Part B.

APhA Urges CMS to Maximize Use of Pharmacists for Nation’s Public Health Needs During COVID-19 (July 7)

In July 7 comments to CMS, APhA advocated to clarify regulations and remove remaining barriers to ensure all pharmacists and pharmacies, including community pharmacies, can fully implement the recent HHS testing guidance and provide all patients with accessible testing, medications, and patient care services. APhA told CMS that pharmacists need a clear pathway for direct payment, and the same level of payment provided for other health care providers, during COVID-19—and for future public health emergencies. Advocacy Summary.

APhA Urges Admiral Giroir to Advocate for Regulatory Clarity for Payment for COVID Testing Provided by Pharmacists (May 8)

In a letter on May 8 to Admiral Giroir, APhA urged the Administration to provide additional regulatory clarity and for Congress to provide statutory authority recognizing pharmacists as providers of testing services to ensure access for Medicare beneficiaries in all communities across the country.

APhA Urges CMS to Remove Barriers on Pharmacist-Provided COVID-19 Testing and Telehealth Services (June 1)

On June 1, APhA submitted comments urging CMS to remove barriers on pharmacist-provided testing and clarify telehealth flexibility for pharmacist-provided patient care services. HHS and CMS have taken initial actions to increase the participation of pharmacists to increase COVID-19 testing. However, there remains a number of logistical, pharmacist and pharmacy payment (particularly regarding specimen collection), and patient access issues that must be addressed.

Key Links