FIP Backs COVID Testing

Growing numbers of countries are introducing community pharmacy-based COVID-19 testing services, with the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) backing the profession to play a greater role in health screening.

Launching the Community pharmacy at a glance 2021 report, on Fri, FIP Community Pharmacy Section President, Lars-Ake Soderlund, noted that expanding the scope of pharmacists delivers additional services and better patient care, while securing increased remuneration.

While the report found that 18% of countries were using pharmacybased COVID testing services in Dec 2020 - when FIP issued its annual survey - the authors noted that “at the time of publication the number of countries that had introduced pharmacy-based testing for COVID-19... had increased”.

The report noted that a number of countries were providing thirdparty funding for pharmacies to conduct COVID testing.

However, speaking at a recent FIP webinar, Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) National President, Associate Professor Chris Freeman, suggested Australia was unlikely to roll out similar services, with pharmacists’ concerns about the potential impact it could have on the provision of other health services.

“In Australia we had long health policy debates around the best way to undertake COVID-19 testing,” he said.

“Mostly this has been done through jurisdictional large-scale centres.

“We had on trial [of pharmacybased testing] in South Australia, and a proposed trial up in Queensland... my understanding is those sites have been limited in the number of patients they’ve actually physically tested.

“So while community pharmacy from an access point-of-view offers an ideal situation to offer COVID testing, in the depths of the pandemic, when numbers were high here there was concern from our members that that would actually put themselves and their staff at risk, but all their other patient populations which didn’t currently have COVID.”

Click here to access the latest FIP report. 

Source:, Monday 26 July 2021