Pharmacists will ultimately not be able to perform tests from January 1 to verify if an angina is viral or bacterial, the implementing decrees not being ready, AFP learned on Tuesday from one of their main unions. Community pharmacists concluded an agreement in September with Health Insurance to be paid up to six euros when they perform this test in place of the doctor. This measure was to come into force on Wednesday, January 1.
However, Health Insurance “informed us in December that the regulatory texts would not be ready in time, and that it would be done rather in the spring,” assured AFP Philippe Besset, the president of the Federation of Pharmaceutical Unions of France (FSPF). TROD (rapid diagnostic orientation tests), performed in a few minutes by taking a sample from the patient’s throat, can determine the origin of the condition.
Modalities still to be specified
In 80 to 90% of cases, recalls Philippe Besset, angina is due to a virus and antibiotics are useless. It is only if the test attests to the presence of bacteria that the pharmacist will have to refer the patient to a doctor, who may prescribe an antibiotic. The doctor can also, if he wishes to save time, delegate the pharmacist to perform the test. He then issues a “conditional prescription”: the patient will eventually get antibiotics only after performing the test in pharmacies.
For this mechanism to be put in place, the Directorate General of Health must still specify by decree certain practical terms, such as the age from which children will be eligible, said Philippe Besset. This report “is annoying, for the patients as for us”. But “the deadlines were a bit short”, and some professionals will be able to take advantage of these few additional months to train, he relativized.