Pharmacies carry out antigen tests accredited by the Health Department

The results will be recorded in the medical record but will not be valid for the EU covid passport

2 min
A pharmacist supervises an antigen test of a young woman in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat

BarcelonaPharmacies are starting to carry out antigen tests supervised by health professionals, which, unlike the tests that now everyone can do at home, will be official and the results will be recorded in the medical record of La Meva Salut. Until now, the result in an antigen test was only recorded in the health system if it had been done by health professionals in a primary healthcare centre, for instance, or in an official mass screening or in any of the accredited private centers. Pharmacies are now joining in, although in their case the result will not used to obtain the EU Covid Certificate that allows travel between states for people who have not been vaccinated or are not yet carrying the full vaccination regimen. The pharmacies' tests will be valid for all activities where an accredited negative antigen test is required.

According to sources from the Department of Health, the tests that pharmacists will carry out are not approved by the EU because they are self-tests and do not fall within the type of self-sample tests that were included in the covid passport. In this case, it will be necessary to continue to go to the list of centres accredited by the Catalan government to obtain the European certificate that do both antigen tests and PCRs.

Unlike the antigen test that someone can carry out at home, however, antigens done in pharmacies will be registered in the public health system for any type of procedure or event that requires an official result. In case of a positive result, it will serve to obtain the sick leave and start the medical follow-up, since the healthcare centre will contact the infected person, who will have to quarantine.

The price can be between 15 and 18 euros

The user, in this case, will buy the test in the same establishment and will do so with the supervision and assistance of the pharmacist - this is the same procedure that has been put into practice with the screening of children and monitors at the summer camps. The cost to the citizen, in this case, will be the price of the test (between 8 and 10 euros) plus the fees set by each pharmacy. Until now, private centers have been charging as much as 30 or 40 euros for a rapid diagnostic test like this. The president of the Federation of Associations of Pharmacies of Catalonia, Antoni Torres, insists that a price for the fees cannot be set, but that the federation recommends that it is similar to that received by the Generalitat during the screening campaign subsidised for the summer camps: five euros per test. This would mean that the final price for the client could be between 15 and 18 euros, adding the cost of the test to the amount set by the pharmacy.