Community pharmacies will supply Rapid Antigen Tests free to concession holders under agreement with the Australian Government and National Cabinet.
Pharmacy Guild National President, Professor Trent Twomey, welcomed the costs of this being met 50:50 between the Australian Government and the respective State or Territory Government.
Professor Twomey said the major issue still ahead was to source adequate supplies for concession holders.
At the same time, community pharmacists are also working to source supplies of RATs for private sales.
“This is a huge logistical exercise, at short notice. Pharmacists are moving heaven and earth to source and stock adequate supplies of RATs,” Professor Twomey said.
“If stocks are not immediately available, we ask customers to be patient but to be assured we are doing all we can to match supply to the demand.”
The Pharmacy Guild of Australia was consulted on the Monday 24 January date to start providing Rapid Antigen Tests to concession holders.
This will be a staged rollout in much the same way as the COVID vaccination was rolled out in stages, with some pharmacies participating from 24 January and the majority coming on board over the following fortnight.
Professor Twomey also welcomed today’s easing of some constraints on supply chain workers, which he said would help ensure community pharmacies are well stocked to meet consumer demands.