US Pharmacies Authorised To Test For COVID-19

 

The US authorized pharmacies on Wednesday to carry out tests for the coronavirus, including newly developed antibody tests that detect whether a person who has recovered from illness had COVID-19.

Health secretary Alex Azar, announced that all tests approved by regulators could be carried out by pharmacies as the country seeks to ramp up its testing efforts.

“The Trump Administration is pleased to give pharmacists the chance to play a bigger role in the COVID-19 response, alongside all of America’s heroic healthcare workers,” he said.

A nasal swab test can detect whether a person currently has the coronavirus.

After they have recovered, a test that looks at whether their body developed antibodies that fought off the virus and can be used — even if the person never showed symptoms.

There are different kinds of antibody tests and they can’t yet tell whether a person has sufficient antibodies to be protected against future infection.

A Chinese study posted this week, but not yet peer reviewed, showed that some former patients had relatively low levels of antibodies in the blood.

In Washington on Wednesday, a private medical center announced that it was offering a 15-minute serology test, at a cost of $290.

AFP

Brazil Approves Sale Of Medical Cannabis In Pharmacies

AFP Photo

 

Brazil’s health watchdog on Tuesday approved the sale of cannabis-based products for medical use in pharmacies to people with a prescription.

The regulation, which takes effect in the coming months, also allows for the manufacture of such products in a laboratory, the Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency (Anvisa) said in a statement.

Anvisa is analyzing the possibility of permitting the cultivation of medical cannabis.

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In recent years, several countries in Latin America have legalized cannabis for medical use, including Uruguay, Chile, Colombia, Argentina, Mexico and Peru.

President Jair Bolsonaro has previously expressed support for medical cannabis. But the ultraconservative leader would “not permit loopholes in the law to be used for the planting and consumption of marijuana,” his spokesman Otavio Rego Barros told reporters in August.

Since 2015, Anvisa has allowed people with a medical prescription to import cannabidiol, or CBD, a non-psychoactive marijuana derivative, for the treatment of epilepsy and chronic illnesses.

The new regulation allows for the sale of products with a concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC — the main psychoactive constituent responsible for marijuana’s intoxicating effects — of more than 0.2 percent to terminally ill patients or those who have exhausted alternative treatment options.

Others will be allowed to buy medical cannabis products with a THC concentration of less than 0.2 percent.

AFP