Drug Topics® Responds: AMA Statement on Test to Treat Initiative

Drug Topics
By Lauren Biscaldi, Managing Editor
March 11, 2022

The AMA objects to pharmacy-based clinics as an access point for COVID-19 treatments.

Members of the Drug Topics® Editorial Advisory Board joined together to respond to the recent statement1 released by the American Medical Association (AMA) president Gerald E. Harmon, MD, criticizing the Biden Administration’s plan to include pharmacists as points of access in the Test to Treat initiative.2

“While the administration laid out promising plans…to combat COVID-19…the pharmacy-based clinic component of the test-to-treat plan flaunts patient safety and risks significant negative health outcomes,” said Harmon. “This approach, though well intentioned…simplifies challenging prescribing decisions by omitting knowledge of a patient’s medical history, the complexity of drug interactions, and managing possible negative reactions.”1

Responses to this statement from our Editorial Advisory Board are collected below.

We know that there is a significant amount of inequality in terms of health care access, and many people in rural or inner-city areas simply don't have ready access to physicians— but they do have access to their pharmacy. These COVID-19 antivirals are time-sensitive, with a need for rapid administration following diagnosis. Delays from testing to physician access to treatment have the potential to lessen the impact of these medications.

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