Drug Topics: Test to Treat in Pharmacy, Let’s Do This!

Test to Treat in Pharmacy

With all of the buzz around test to treat since last week’s State of the Union address, Drug Topics asked our chief innovation officer, David Pope. PharmD, CDE for a short piece on what’s next and what test to treat matters to pharmacy.

“I’ve long been an advocate for pharmacists’ ability to evaluate and prescribe, so hearing President Biden announce a pharmacy test to treat initiative for COVID-19 during his State of the Union address was a thrill! The COVID-19 pandemic brought national attention to pharmacy and what we can do to serve our communities, and this felt like a great continuation of that narrative in the national spotlight.”

Pharmacists are ready for test to treat, but there are a few steps that need to happen before this can become a reality:

  • The FDA must update emergency use authorizations (EUA’s) to allow pharmacists the authority to prescribe.
  • Payers must allow pharmacists to be reimbursed for the act of prescribing through the medical benefit. A positive test doesn’t necessarily mean Paxlovid should be administered. Therefore, pharmacists need to be reimbursed for their efforts as a provider to evaluate patients based on the outlined protocols and either prescribe directly or refer the patient if more complex medical decision making is necessary. Medicare will lead the way here with reimbursement guidelines, and other payers will generally follow what Medicare does. This is significant as it will reimburse pharmacists as medical providers on the medical benefit (aka provider status).
  • The Health Resources and Services Administration needs to allow pharmacists to submit office visit codes when there isn’t coverage elsewhere.

Read the full article on Drug Topics here.

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