About the free rapid antigen test initiative: Pharmacies 

Canada is making free rapid antigen tests available to businesses and non-profit organizations with close-contact employees through our Rapid Testing for COVID-19 Screening in the Workplace initiative. Through this initiative, pharmacies can become rapid test distributors 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 initiative, pharmacies must:

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

Training resource requirements

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

Training resources 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 initiative 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.

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

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.

Participating employees should be screened 2 times every week. 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 initiative.

Example:
  • 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 may dispense a 2-week supply (2.5 kits x 2 = 5 kits).
  • We recommend dispensing between 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.

Reporting instructions

Pharmacies are required to report on which confirmation numbers 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 report:

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@canada.ca

Workplace screening for your employees

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

Get free rapid tests for your employees

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