Tokyo drugstores begin selling COVID test kits

NHK -- Oct 09
Drugstores in Tokyo have begun selling coronavirus antigen test kits, which produce test results in about 15 to 30 minutes.

Japan's health ministry last week approved the sale of the test kits at drugstores so that people can test themselves at home.

The ministry previously only allowed the use of government-authorized kits at medical institutions.

A pharmacy in western Tokyo received a package of testing materials on Friday morning. Shop clerks prepared the swabs and reagent that come in the kits for sale. They put up a notice making customers aware that the test kits are now available for purchase.

Before they can take home a kit, customers must listen to an explanation from a pharmacist on how to take samples from the nose correctly. They are told of the possibility that the test may not produce a positive result for infected people if the volume of virus in a sample is insufficient.

An official from the firm that makes the kits briefed the pharmacists at the drugstore beforehand.

A pharmacist said that the store is prepared to refer customers to a medical institution if they test positive. She said she hopes to help local residents get smooth access to medical care.

令和3年9月27日の事務連絡で、医療用医薬品であった体外診断薬キットであるCovid-19抗原検査キットが、感染拡大予防と迅速な医療機関受診を目的に特例的に「薬局医薬品」として、認可されました。私が、PCR検査機が導入されるまで、医療機関で用いていたのと全く同じモノが薬局店頭で販売できます。ただ、売れる!という話ではありません。意外に簡単な使用法とその注意点、さらに、このことへの取組が将来の薬局・薬剤師のあり方を変えるかも知れないという話をしています。 - 狭間研至