COVID test and other tests at the pharmacy. And what good is it to anyone?

What's all the fuss about?

Some time ago, the media reported that the Ministry of Health was planning to allow pharmacists to perform COVID tests and other tests in publicly available pharmacies. This was met with a sharp reaction from the National Trade Union of Medical Diagnostic Laboratories, which raised, among other things, the fact that pharmacies are not adapted to the requirements met by laboratories, pharmacists do not have the appropriate qualifications to collect material for testing or knowledge about what tests to order.

It is how it is

As a result of all the confusion, the ministry withdrew its ideas, indicating in the regulation "on the list of diagnostic tests that can be performed by a pharmacist" basic diagnostic tests that can be performed in pharmacies - clearly stipulating in the justification that the purpose of the regulation is not to introduce pharmacies laboratory diagnostic activities reserved for diagnosticians.

What tests will a pharmacist be able to perform?

let's start with the antigen STRIPS test for COVID-19. Yes, a pharmacist will be able to perform a Covid test - but not immediately. This will be possible only after completing theoretical training on the e-learning platform of the Postgraduate Medical Education Center.

Yes. This is exactly the same test that you can buy at the pharmacy and perform at home.


The Ministry of Health justifies granting such competence to pharmacists primarily by the fact that a draft bill is being processed providing for the possibility of testing employees for COVID-19 and verifying test results at work. Moreover, it indicates that in the future, a pharmacist, having knowledge about the infection, will be able to propose modifications to the patient's pharmacotherapy.

Is that all?

NO. After completing the qualification course, the pharmacist will be able to:

  • examination of basic vital parameters (blood pressure, heart rate, pulse, saturation),
  • measurement of body weight, height, waist circumference, calculation of BMI and WHR,
  • blood glucose test,
  • lipid panel control,
  • quick test for detecting influenza, C-reactive protein concentration, group A Streptoccocus antigen, Helicobacter - blood test.
Forget about refunds

The regulation indicates that the diagnostic tests listed therein, with the exception of testing for COVID-19 ( COVID test), will not be financed from public funds.

Importantly, there will be no imposed prices for these tests, and the pharmacy will be able to independently set the price list for these tests.

Interestingly, the justification also indicated that the patient would not be able to expect or demand funding for these tests from the National Health Fund.


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