Health will give the green light to the sale of COVID-19 self-diagnostic tests without a prescription

Updated: Tuesday July 13, 2021 5:41 PM

Posted: 07/13.2021 5:40 PM

The Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, announced that next Tuesday the Council of Ministers would approve the royal decree which will allow the sale of self-diagnostic tests, that is to say of antigens or antibodies, against Covid -19 in pharmacies without the need for a prescription.

In an appearance before the Congress of Deputies’ Committee on Health and Consumer Affairs, Darias asserted that “there is a need to increase the diagnostic capacity to identify positive and even asymptomatic suspected cases more quickly, like this occurs in the population aged 12 to 29, and to control the progression of the pandemic in the most efficient manner possible. ”

“The prescription requirement was an obstacle,” admitted the minister. This royal decree-law received, Friday July 8, the mandatory positive opinion of the Council of State.

The proposed new health standard justifies that “the availability of self-diagnostic tests for Covid-19 will allow the general population to perform the tests without the intervention of a health professional, which on the one hand will reduce to a certain extent. measures the pressure of the health centers and will allow the rapid identification of positive suspect cases ”.

Likewise, the Ministry recognizes that the health crisis caused by Covid-19 “obliges to increase the diagnostic capacity of the National Health System, in order to quickly identify suspected positive cases, to take appropriate measures and thus control effectively the progression of the pandemic while caring for those affected by the pandemic and helping their recovery. ”

“Considering the fact that the prescription requirement for the sale to the public of these products would constitute a significant obstacle to their use, it is appropriate to include them among the self-diagnostic products exempt from prescription for their acquisition in pharmacies”, explained the Ministry in your draft.

Regarding the impact that the approval of the royal decree-law can produce for the economy, Health considers that “the increase in the diagnostic capacity of the National Health System, in order to quickly identify suspected positive cases , will effectively control the progression of the disease. pandemic and, consequently, to the reduction of mobility restrictions and the resumption of normal activities ”.

After the approval of this standard, the Covid-19 self-diagnostic tests will join other tests that also do not require a prescription, such as those for pregnancy and fertility, as well as those for determining blood sugar or detecting blood sugar. HIV. Like these products, tests for Covid-19 may be allowed to advertise.

The delta variant will be predominant

On the other hand, Darias considers that it is “foreseeable” that the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, initially detected in India, “increases its presence” in Spain and becomes the dominant strain. Right now, according to the data he provided, it accounts for around 15-20% of reported and sequenced infections.

According to their figures, the Alpha variant, also known as the British, is still in the majority, “currently accounting for 70 to 80%” of infections. As for Beta and Gamma, there have been “sporadic cases” in Spain and they only represent 2 to 5% of the cases analyzed.

Delta, the most worrying variant at present because of its possible implication in the vaccine escape, has “a very variable presence between the autonomous communities”. “In some, it has not been identified and in others above 30%,” he detailed.

At the national level, the prevalence of cases is of the order of 15 to 20% of the total number of positives notified and sequenced. “It is predictable that it will increase its presence and occupy the ecological niche,” said Darias.

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