Pharmacy Daily

Sigma prepares for home RAT rush


SIGMA Healthcare has announced that community pharmacies can now place orders for at-home COVID-19 rapid antigen test kits (RATs).

In a statement issued this morning, the wholesaler said manufactur­ing of its preferred nasal swab test, Right Sign RAT, was underway, and would be “one of the first to market with at-home testing kits from 01 Nov”.

Sigma’s Chief Pharmacist, Brinley Hosking, said the kit was approved by the Therapeuti­c Goods Administra­tion (TGA) last week, and had a proven accuracy rate of 97%.

“We’re really pleased to be able to offer pre-orders to our network of Sigma customers for Rapid Antigen Testing Kits this week, with the aim for stock to reach our customers as soon as possible,” Hosking said.

“As part of our advanced approach to offering at-home testing kits, our COVID Working Group has been working across the network so that teams on the ground are as prepared as possible to inform their customers about the testing kits.

“The tests themselves are very easy to use and come with an instructio­n sheet and video to assist people in using them correctly at home.

“Our community pharmacist­s have already played a huge role in the fight against COVID-19, and the arrival of rapid antigen testing serves as another important milestone for pharmacy in supporting Australian­s with greater protection and peace of mind as states and territorie­s continue to ease restrictio­ns.”

MEANWHILE, speaking in the House of Representa­tives yesterday, Australian Labor Party MP, Susan Templeman, called on the Federal Government to take steps to support the use of athome RATs.

“While self-testing kits are allowed from 01 Nov, they’re not on Medicare and there’s no informatio­n or education campaign happening about how these kits can help build confidence in people, with a pretty reliable result to say whether or not they’re COVID positive,” she said.

“They show up a high viral load, they’re as easy as a pregnancy test and they should be made available to people either free or subsidised.”

“The Morrison Government needs to step up and lead so that we can effectivel­y use this tool to help us get out and stay out of lockdowns.”

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