New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced last week that New York will launch a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing pilot program with a goal of conducting 7000 tests per week.

The program will involve independent pharmacies and will be coordinated with the Pharmacists Society of the State of New York, as well as with the state’s network of Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Network clinically integrated pharmacies.

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), which represents more than 21,000 independent pharmacies across the country, applauded the announcement of this pilot program, as it has advocated for the involvement of pharmacists in testing patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Ramping up COVID-19 testing is an economic and public health imperative,” said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, MBA, RPh, in a press release. “We’re grateful to Governor Cuomo for expanding patient access to testing by enlisting independent community pharmacies in this pilot program. In addition to encouraging the governor to expand this program, we urge other states and the federal government to look at integrating independent community pharmacy or implementing a similar model as the country works to increase testing and take steps to fully reopen.”

NCPA Applauds N.Y. Testing Pilot Including Independent Community Pharmacies [news release]. Alexandria, VA: National Community Pharmacists Association; May 22, 2020. Accessed May 27, 2020.