Following the authorization of licensed pharmacists by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to order and administer coronavirus tests;
Dara Lo, Medical Device Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view:
“COVID-19 testing is paramount to curbing spread of the disease, yet the US has faced several testing roadblocks due to a global shortage of hospital supplies and a lack of tests and qualified personnel needed to perform and process the tests.
“While the so-called deputizing of pharmacists to become front-line administers of coronavirus tests seems like it will relieve the current shortage of testing in the country, the current gold standard of testing for diagnosing COVID-19 is PCR-based, which requires a nasopharyngeal swab and then for the patient sample to be sent to a laboratory where the sample can be processed and run on a PCR machine.
“It is possible that pharmacists will increase throughput in the number of patient samples obtained, but that would require the availability of nose swabs, of which there is a shortage. The sample would still then have to be sent to a testing lab such as Quest or Labcorp, compounding the problem of already severely overloaded and backlogged testing labs.”