Following the announcement that the demand for antigen test kits, which are increasing due to the rapid spread of the new coronavirus, will be given to medical institutions with the highest priority, pharmacies will have to forgo general sales in the future. There is also a voice saying.

On the 27th, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare requested wholesalers and manufacturers that handle antigen test kits to supply them with the highest priority to medical institutions and health centers that test people with symptoms.

In response to this policy, pharmacies that have been conducting free inspections by local governments and selling to the general public are under pressure to respond.

Of these, the Sakura Pharmacy Group, which has more than 1,000 stores nationwide, has about 5,000 inventories for the entire group as of the 27th of this week, but it is decreasing by 1,000 times every day due to free inspections and sales.

Until now, it was possible to receive about 300 new items a day, but since the priority for free inspection and general sales is low according to the policy of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, the amount of items received will be even smaller in the future for one week. I think that the current inventory will run out.

The pharmacy wants to continue the free inspections of the local government, but says that general sales will have to be postponed for a while.

In addition, the BCP = Business Continuity Plan stipulates that if an infected person appears in a store, all staff at the same store will be tested for antigens, but we are also considering reviewing the plan, such as narrowing down the target people. about it.

Seiya Asai, Deputy General Manager of the Pharmacy Division of the Sakura Pharmacy Group, said, "As a medical professional, I cannot stop my work, so it is necessary to secure a minimum test kit in case a positive person appears on the staff. I don't want to curb the supply to people, but it is inevitable that this availability will have an impact. "

Japan Pharmaceutical Wholesalers Association "Manufacturers waiting for increased production"

At the request of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, the Japan Pharmaceutical Wholesalers Association, which is made up of pharmaceutical wholesalers, said, "Wholesale companies are still out of stock, so we would like to wait for the manufacturer to increase production. The situation varies depending on the region, such as where and how much of the medical institutions and local governments should be allocated, so I think that more detailed rules will be shown in the future. "