About the COVID-19 rapid antigen test program: Pharmacies

Notice to reader

As of November 30, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can access rapid tests by contacting participating pharmacies directly.

Canada is making rapid antigen tests available to businesses and non-profit organizations to test their employees through our Rapid Testing for COVID-19 Screening in the Workplace program. Through this program, pharmacies distribute rapid tests to small and medium-sized businesses and non-profit organizations that want to implement workplace screening for their employees.

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What's required of you

As part of this program, pharmacies must:

If you are part of a pharmacy chain, please contact your head office for details on how to participate in this program.

Training resource requirements

Please visit the Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada and the Canadian Pharmacists Association to review training resources.

Training resources provided by pharmacies to small and medium-sized organizations must include:

Register to be a distributor

How to order kits

If you're an independent pharmacy, your primary distributor will contact you on how to order kits. Distributors currently enrolled in the program are:

Note: Only pharmacies that have registered on the Government of Canada portal will be contacted. You will be required to sign additional terms and conditions with your distributor.

If you're part of a pharmacy chain, ask your corporate office how you can order kits.

When kits are picked up

Small and medium-sized organizations are encouraged to call their local pharmacy ahead of time to ensure pharmacies have time to prepare their order. If an organization has not registered through the portal, pharmacy staff can direct them to the Government of Canada portal.

There are 4 steps you need to take.

Step 1: When a representative of a small and medium-sized organization comes to pick up test kits, pharmacists must validate the information provided. Pharmacists must:

Step 2: Pharmacies are required to report on which confirmation numbers (order codes) have received tests from their store and how many kits were dispensed by confirmation number. Pharmacies are also required to log organization and product information in case of recalls.
To log this information:

Step 3: Pharmacies must provide training in person to small and medium-sized organizations on:

Step 4: Pharmacies will need to record organization and product information into their internal pharmacy system in case of recalls. You will need to record the following:

If you have any questions, please contact us at: hc.freerapidtestsforsmo-testsrapidegratuitspourpmo.sc@hc-sc.gc.ca

Validating number of tests being requested

The pharmacist can only dispense the number of kits required based on the number of participating employees who are indicated in the confirmation email.

The pharmacist must also validate the number of kits being requested, which will be indicated in the confirmation email.

There are 25 tests in each kit. We recommend dispensing 2 weeks' supply. Small and medium-sized organizations located in remote regions may obtain up to 4 weeks' supply at one time.

On average, we expect about 20% of employees to participate in the program.

  • Maria's Bagel Store has 30 employees who will be tested 2 times a week (30 x 2 = 60).
  • Each kit has 25 tests: (60/25 = 2.5 kits).
  • The pharmacy can dispense a 2-week supply (2.5 kits x 2 = 5 kits).
  • We recommend dispensing up to 5 kits.

Small and medium-sized organizations may reorder kits through the registration portal. To order additional test kits, they must report on the total tests used and provide the number of presumptive positive results, negative and inconclusive results. Small and medium-sized organizations will receive a new confirmation email and number each time they request further tests.

Workplace screening for your employees

Pharmacies can also implement workplace screening programs for their own employees.

Get rapid tests for your employees

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