Did you know there’s a COVID-19 home test kit on the market? No? It seems like many pharmacies don’t either.
These tests became available on Wednesday. These are actually the same rapid tests they use at the COVID-19 testing facilities. Several suppliers have received a Health Ministry exemption to make their rapid test available as home testing kits.
This exemption came faster than expected, says a Ministry spokesperson. “We granted it to two manufacturers last Wednesday. That’s much faster than we’d anticipated.”
‘They must buy them’
That means pharmacies and health and beauty shops, and supermarkets can buy the self-test kits from those producers. “We’ve actively communicated this too. But it’s up to pharmacies to buy these tests.”
Some pharmacies have these tests on their shelves, but not all. Many pharmacies don’t yet know that they can order these test kits. “I had no idea. We don’t have them yet, and neither do I have an idea when they’ll arrive,” says one.
The Tongelre pharmacy in Eindhoven doesn’t have them either. “We don’t have them in stock and don’t know when we’ll get them.” It’s the same story at Heikant pharmacy in Veldhoven.
Confusion is understandable
The Central and West Brabant Pharmacists’ Association understands the confusion among pharmacists. “These tests were suddenly released by the Ministry. So, not every pharmacy was on board immediately,” says the association’s Karien van der Hoogt.
And their sales are also a bit tricky. “Pharmacies must first repackage the rapid tests. They come in bulk but can be sold individually. And they have to add a new instruction leaflet because now people have to be able to use this test themselves.”
It also depends on delivery times. The association expects most pharmacies to have these tests by next week, at the latest.
Translator: Melinda Walraven