Biden Administration Expands Test to Treat Sites, COVID-19 Antiviral Access

The administration also pledged to continue its work with existing pharmacy partners to improve the patient experience.

The Biden Administration is expanding Test to Treat sites and heightening access to oral antivirals for COVID-19.

In a fact sheet released on April 26,1 the Administration stated that it will build on the current 2200 Test to Treat sites in pharmacies and other clinical settings, working with states and jurisdictions to establish additional Test to Treat locations2 with federal support.

“These sites will co-locate testing, an assessment from a medical provider, and oral antiviral treatments in 1 convenient stop—launching in partnership with state, Tribal, and territorial governments, and with support and coordination from HHS and the Federal Emergency Management Agency,” the Administration said.

The sites will be “targeted to meet demand and increase equitable access to lifesaving COVID-19 treatments and will function in direct collaboration with state and local health agencies,” the Administration added.

The Biden Administration will also continue working with existing Test to Treat pharmacy partners to improve the patient experience, including through telehealth options.

The sites will launch in select communities in the coming weeks, and—with more data—the Administration will determine how federally-supported sites can best be expanded and scaled if needed during any potential future surge in cases.

The Biden Administration also plans to nearly double the number of places where oral antivirals are available in the coming weeks. Currently, these drugs are available in about 20,000 locations across the country, including pharmacies, community health centers, hospitals, urgent care centers, Veterans Affairs clinics, and Department of Defense Medical Treatment Facilities.

Oral antivirals will soon be available in more than 30,000 locations. The Department of Health and Human Services will work with pharmacy partners to increase availability even further, to up to 40,000 sites over the coming weeks.

“Now that the United States has ample supply of these treatments, the Administration is making it easier for pharmacies to order antivirals from the federal government,” the Administration said. “Starting this week, the Administration will allow all pharmacy partners in the federal antiviral pharmacy program—tens of thousands of pharmacy locations nationwide—to order free oral antiviral treatments directly from the federal government.”

Pharmacies will also continue to be able to receive the antivirals from state and territorial health departments and through the Test to Treat initiative.

“For many Americans, pharmacies are the most common and convenient place to pick up their prescriptions and receive other forms of health care. Opening ordering to all of these pharmacies will dramatically expand the number of local pharmacies with oral antivirals in stock for patients in their community,” the White House said.

References

  1. Fact sheet: Biden Administration increases access to COVID-19 treatments and boosts patient and provider awareness. The White House. April 26, 2022. Accessed April 27, 2022. https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/04/26/fact-sheet-biden-administration-increases-access-to-covid-19-treatments-and-boosts-patient-and-provider-awareness
  2. National COVID-19 preparedness plan. The White House. Published March 2022. Accessed April 27, 2022. www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/NAT-COVID-19-PREPAREDNESS-PLAN.pdf