DOH: COVID-19 rapid test kits can’t be bought in pharmacies
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health advised the public on Saturday that COVID-19 rapid tests cannot be bought in pharmacies, as it is only allowed to be sold to facilities with the guidance of a doctor.
DOH spokesperson and Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire made the clarification in a message to reporters, correcting the earlier statements she made during the Laging Handa online press briefing.
“I stand corrected, rapid antibody tests CANNOT be bought in pharmacies as it cannot be self-administered,” Vergeire said.
“Only facilities with the guidance of a doctor can provide the tests,” she added.
During the briefing, Vergeire had said that there the selling of rapid tests in drug stores is not prohibited.
“Itong pagbebenta ng rapid anti-body tests sa drug stores, ito ay hindi naman ipinagbabawal,” she said. “Ngunit kailangan po rehistrado ng [Food and Drug Administration] ‘yung ating ibinibenta diyan.”
(The selling of rapid anti-body tests in drug stores is not prohibited. However, such test kits being sold should be registered by the Food and Drug Administration.)
According to FDA advisories, test kits, which are strictly for medical use only, “should be strictly distributed to appropriate establishments or institutions.”
In the same briefing, Vergeire cautioned that those found to be selling rapid test kits online, and are found not to be registered with the FDA, will face sanctions.
“Kapag po nakita and nagkaroon ng ebidensiya na talagang hindi rehistrado ang ibinibenta nila, may mga kaukulang sanctions po ‘yan ayon sa ating batas,” she said.
(If we see evidence that the rapid test kits being sold are not registered, they will face sanctions in accordance with the law.)
To date, the Philippines has 54,222 COVID-19 cases, with 14,037 recoveries and 1,372 deaths.
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