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.

Why Do Testing?

APhA CEO Blog: A nation seeking security needs pharmacists as COVID-19 testers (May 5)
We need more tests, and we need more testing sites—and we need them fast. APhA and our pharmacy colleagues have been using our collective might to spread the message that leveraging pharmacists and pharmacies is a clear path to achieving this. (Blog Post)

Authority to Test

Authority to Test for COVID-19: Pharmacists, Pharmacy Technicians, and Pharmacy Interns (November 4)
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. (PDF)

Public Resource Links

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

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)


Public Resource Links

Learn the basics about the different types of tests for COVID-19 and the steps involved in this FDA resource for everyone. (PDF)
See CDC's interim guidelines for COVID-19 antibody testing with recommendations on the use of serologic tests. (Real-Time)

Preparing to

Public Resource Links

FDA's Letter to Clinical Laboratory Staff and Health Care Providers on the Potential for False Positive Results with Antigen Tests for Rapid Detection of SARS-CoV-2 (November 3)
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)

Fraudulent Activity

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

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. (PDF)

APhA Weekly Open Forum Webinar: Fraudulent Activity Related to Tests and Medical Products (April 2)

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

APhA CEO Blog: Protect yourselves and your patients from bogus COVID-19 cures, test kits, and PPE (March 31)

We’re getting reports of scams, counterfeit products, and bogus personal protection equipment (PPE) being offered online and through various channels. Some even falsely claim they’ve received FDA certification. (Blog Post)

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