Another victory for Madrid, Health accepts tests in pharmacies

The Ministry of Health supports the performance of antigen tests in pharmacies, as claimed by the president of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Diaz Ayuso, in its successful strategy to contain the coronavirus.

This has been stated by the minister Salvador Illa, during the meeting of the Interterritorial Health Council, which is celebrated this Wednesday, according to sources from the regional government.

Ayuso addressed the EU this Tuesday to validate as a form of testing against Covid-19 that pharmacies could perform antigen tests, after the rejection of his proposal by the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products.

In a letter addressed to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der LeyenAyuso explained that Madrid experts establish that antigen tests can be performed in other health centers, such as pharmacies “because their professionals are trained, guarantee safety and hygiene and the results can be communicated to the Madrid Health System.”

“Currently, the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products does not allow us to use these centers. That is why I would consider it useful for a European authority to be able to validate this new form of testing, not only in Spain but also for the rest of the European regions, ”he stated in the letter.

Before Christmas

The Community of Madrid has managed to successfully contain the spread of the virus, currently registering figures below that of other autonomous communities.

The region has carried out more than 3 million tests since this pandemic began. Currently between 170,000 and 200,000 weekly tests are carried out and it is “being one of the most advanced regions in the use of antigen tests, with more than 130,000 carried out during the last week”, according to the president of Madrid herself.

The vice president of the Community of Madrid, Ignacio Aguado, affirmed this Tuesday that the objective is that before christmas “All Madrilenians”, before meeting with their relatives, take or have the option of taking a free antigen test at pharmacies.

“It would be a revolution, a before and after,” considered the leader of Ciudadanos, who recalled that five million of this type of tests have already been bought, although “more would be bought” if necessary.

Simon rejected them

The director of the Center for the Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies (CCAES), Fernando Simón, rejected a few days ago the possibility of doing antigen tests in pharmacies.

He considered that “these tests require a sample that, to guarantee their quality, cannot be done by just anyone.” In addition, he opined that if people have symptoms they should not leave their home.

Endorsement of Europe

Just a few hours ago it was known that the European Commission recommended the use of antigen tests to contain the spread of Covid-19, as the Madrid region has been doing for three months.

The community body has issued a health policy recommendation in which he urges the countries of the European Union to use them as part of their measures against the virus.

The Commission assures in its recommendation that these rapid antigen tests would be conducive to “High prevalence situations”, that is, in places where transmission is uncontrolled or in population groups that have had contact with a positive. The objective would be, in this case, “to detect a high transmission potential in the community”, as well as “to reduce the pressure on health environments.”

Likewise, the Commission establishes that the tests must be applied by “trained health personnel or laboratories”, which would also support the claim of the Madrid president, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, so that it can be dispose of them in pharmacies.

In the document, the agency is in favor of having “additional test operators other than health personnel” to perform antigen tests, among which would be pharmacists, in order to “guarantee sufficient capacities and resources for sampling, testing and reporting ”.