The University of Florida College of Pharmacy and the American Pharmacists Association, or APhA, announced a new partnership April 13 that will allow pharmacists to test patients for several non-emergency health issues.
The two organizations will leverage their expertise to offer one of the first national pharmacy-based test-and-treat certificate programs. APhA is the largest association of pharmacists in the United States, while the UF College of Pharmacy ranks among the nation’s top 5 pharmacy colleges, according to U.S. News & World Report.
The training will expand a pharmacist’s ability to provide on-the-spot testing services at their local pharmacy. Pharmacists will be able to test and initiate therapy for influenza, strep throat, urinary tract infections and other minor, noncomplicated health conditions in accordance with their state practice. This expansion of pharmacy-led services will significantly improve a patient’s access to care.
“Patients are looking for more convenient and accessible ways to manage their health,” said Dan Zlott, Pharm.D., BCOP, senior vice president of education and business development at the APhA. “As the most accessible health care professional, pharmacists are well-positioned to expand patients’ access to care. The test-and-treat authority expands pharmacists’ ability to help their patients stay healthy. APhA is incredibly excited to partner with the UF College of Pharmacy to provide pharmacists with the essential training they need to provide next-level care to their patients and communities.”
Pharmacists seeking to enroll in the test-and-treat certificate training program will complete 20 hours of self-study and live training. The comprehensive curriculum was designed to meet the credentialing requirements in every state — allowing pharmacists from coast to coast an opportunity to earn the certificate.
Participants will be required to demonstrate techniques for the following diagnostic tests: throat swab, finger stick and nasal swab testing. In addition, they will learn about expanding patient-centered services in community pharmacies with point-of-care testing and developing a business and marketing plan.
“Our program is very practical and covers a wealth of information that pharmacists need to successfully participate and manage a point-of-care testing program,” said Julie Johnson, Pharm.D., dean and distinguished professor in the UF College of Pharmacy. “We talked to state and national experts, reviewed literature and collaborated with physicians to build a certificate program that is second to none in terms of quality and training.”
Before expanding nationally, the UF College of Pharmacy launched Florida’s first state-approved test-and-treat certificate training program in February 2021. During the pandemic, the Florida Legislature agreed to expand pharmacies’ ability to test and treat minor health conditions. The college’s Office of Continuing Pharmacy Education quickly responded to the legislation by establishing its program.
To register for the test-and-treat certificate program, please visit: https://ebusiness.pharmacist.com/PersonifyEbusiness/Shop-APhA/Product-Details/productId/357412935.