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Rapid tests can be purchased at pharmacies from Saturday

Foto D.R - RAPID TESTS CAN BE PURCHASED AT PHARMACIES STARTING ON SATURDAYRapid antigen tests for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 will be able to be purchased, starting on Saturday, in pharmacies and places of sale of non-prescription drugs, according to news published today in Diário da República.

Signed by the Minister of Health, Marta Temido, the article explains “an exceptional and temporary regime for performing self-tests of rapid antigen tests, intended, by their manufacturers, to be carried out on samples of the internal anterior nasal area”.

According to the product information, the rapid antigen tests covered by the regime, which lasts six months, can be made available to the units of the health system, for sale in pharmacies and authorised non-prescription drug stores and in other locations to be defined by order of the Ministry of Health.

This approach has also been adopted by other countries, namely Austria and Germany.

In view of the current epidemiological situation of the Covid-19 pandemic, and as a result of the update from the Directorate-General for Health, concerning the National Test Strategy for SARS-CoV-2, “it is important to intensify the regular laboratory screening for early detection cases of infection as a means of controlling transmission chains, particularly in the context of the gradual and sustained reopening of certain sectors of activity, establishments and services ”, says the article.

The tests are currently on the market in Portugal for use by professionals, however, “exceptionally and temporarily”, for the purposes of contagion prevention, antigen tests “can be placed and made available on the national market for use by non-professionals, even if they were intended for professional use, according to the indications provided by the respective manufacturer ”.

The non-professional use of these tests “does not require prior subjection to the respective conformity assessment procedures legally required for the self-diagnosis test”, says the directive, which comes into force on Saturday.

The maximum term of the regime is six months, but may be extended.

“The procedures, decisions and recommendations necessary for placing and making  rapid antigen tests available on the national market covered by this exceptional regime are of an urgent and priority nature”, states the article.

Original article available in Portuguese at http://postal.pt/