HHS overrides states, lets all pharmacists give COVID-19 tests

New HHS guidance overrides state and local rules that prevented pharmacists from administering COVID-19 diagnostic tests, Drug Topics reported. 

HHS decided May 19 that the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness, or PREP, Act preempts state laws restricting pharmacists' ability to order and administer COVID-19 diagnostic tests. 

"Pharmacists play a vital role in delivering convenient access to important public health services and information," HHS Secretary Alex Azar said, according to Drug Topics. 

At least 34 states had already taken action to remove barriers to pharmacists administering COVID-19 tests, including New York and New Jersey

"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," the National Community Pharmacists Association said in a May 20 news release

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