SACRAMENTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#WeAreCPhA–The California Pharmacists Association is pleased to announce that Governor Gavin Newsom has removed another barrier to pharmacists’ ability to help alleviate the strain on the healthcare system. His action granting California’s 47,000 pharmacists the ability to order and administer COVID-19 tests in the state will help meet his objective of testing 60,000 California residents a day.

CPhA submitted a waiver request and made a direct plea to the Governor on April 23, 2020. Since that time, a number of legislators who have been made aware of our request have also been calling on the Governor to respond in the affirmative to our request.

As the most accessible healthcare provider in California, pharmacists, highly trained healthcare providers, many of whom are doctors, are in a unique opportunity to reach thousands of Californians who have been sheltering in place for weeks.

Dr. Ken Thai, President, California Pharmacists Association said, “An estimated 90% of Americans live within five miles of a pharmacy, and a pharmacy is often the first place people go to with their healthcare questions. In rural and underserved communities, pharmacists are often the only healthcare provider that is immediately accessible to patients. Whether it is managing medication, counseling patients, identifying therapies and alternatives, immunizing, or compounding drugs that are in short supply, pharmacists and pharmacy personnel are on the front lines serving their communities now, more than ever, and helping us all cope with this pandemic. This new authority builds on the inherent trust that has existed between patients and their pharmacists since the inception of the profession.”

“Now that the authority has been granted for pharmacists to test, communities will feel much more comfortable traveling to their local pharmacy to have their COVID-19 test administered. Many pharmacists have formed lifelong relationships with their patients and are able to provide a safe, comfortable testing facility that is conveniently located near their homes,” said Thai.

The approval of the California Pharmacists Association’s waiver request makes California the 32nd state in the nation to authorize pharmacists to order and administer COVID-19 tests. The California Pharmacists Association greatly appreciates the collaboration between the Office of the Governor, the California State Legislature, and the Department of Consumer Affairs to ensure equitable access to healthcare and healthcare providers. With this new authority, pharmacy professionals are now fully activated to provide enhanced meaningful services necessary to meet the public health challenge created by COVID-19.

About CPhA

The California Pharmacists Association (CPhA) is the largest statewide professional association for pharmacists, student pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in the country. CPhA represents the pharmacy profession in all practice settings and promotes the health of the public through the practice of pharmacy.


Sheila Johnston

VP, Member Development & Communications


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