As ABC has learned, the Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, has just stated in the Interterritorial Health Council, that “The Ministry is not opposed to testing in pharmacies”. In addition, it has indicated “that the Community that wants to do so, must present a detailed plan.”
In this sense, Illa has stated that “it is being studied”, but that it is a technical debate and «ethere are legal reserves and professional groups ».
On the other hand, the European Commission has asked the Member States this Wednesday to agree on the criteria for the use of rapid antigen tests because it believes that using them in a “complementary” way to PCR can help contain the pandemic , although he has asked for “caution” because the reliability of your results is lower and has warned that it should be health personnel who perform these tests to reduce the margin of error. Brussels indicates that, failing that, trained operators may also carry out the tests “where appropriate and in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions.”
Pharmacists, according to the deputy secretary of the General Nursing Council, José Luis Cobo, would not have «healthcare skills»To perform the tests. But nevertheless, Europe’s recommendation that “trained operators” can do it, leaves the door open to the pharmacy sector to be able to perform antigen tests.
Although Brussels does not have competences in health matters, it has issued a series of recommendations to the Member States to avoid lack of coordination in the management of the pandemic that was experienced especially in the first months of the spread of the virus in Europe.
The document adopted this Wednesday by the College of Commissioners recalls that the clinical results of the rapid tests “Are not optimal” at the moment and that there are few data on its efficacy in asymptomatic patients.
Brussels calls on the EU governments to agree on the criteria to apply to antigens and move towards mutual recognition of the results of the tests that are eventually carried out in each Member State.
In the opinion of the European Commission, the rapid tests used must have ‘acceptable’ results, that is, with at least 80% sensitivity and 97% specificity, to “avoid as many false negatives and false positives as possible.”
The Community Executive thus clarifies how it believes that rapid antigen tests should be selected, when they are appropriate and who should perform them, while taking advantage of the recommendations to demand the validation and mutual recognition of the tests and their results from the member states.