Covid-19: the sale of self-tests authorized outside pharmacies

This was a strong demand from supermarkets at the heart of a fifth wave of Covid-19 in France. The government has authorized « Exceptionally and until January 31, 2022 » the sale of self-tests for antigenic detection of SARS-CoV-2 outside pharmacies, according to a decree published in Official newspaper, Tuesday December 28.

Considering the societal interest of the use of self-tests « In the context of a very sharp increase in the incidence rate, due to the spread of the Delta and Omicron variants, and a demand for examinations and screening tests unprecedented since the start of the health crisis, it the supply and sales channels for the self-tests should be diversified ”, exposes the judgment. The information was not, however, part of the government announcements concerning the fight against Covid-19 on Monday.

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The boss of large distribution stores E.Leclerc, Michel-Edouard Leclerc, immediately greeted a « Fair and useful decision », promising teams « Up to the stakes » and especially self-tests « At cost price ».

Self-tests « less than 2 euros »

The retail opening of the self-tests was particularly eagerly awaited in recent days, as pharmacies swamped with hundreds of daily antigen tests to be performed on the eve of the holiday season.

« We are asking to be able to sell self-tests first because customers have asked us for it », underlined Dominique Schelcher, Chairman and CEO of Système U, on RTL Tuesday morning. “Recently, it was sometimes difficult to access this product only in pharmacies, he added. We could also offer it at cost price, less than 2 euros.  » So far, a ceiling price of 5.20 euros has been applied in French pharmacies.

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A way for Mr. Schelcher to respond to the emerging criticism of enrichment of mass distribution on the back of the pandemic. “We were told the same thing when we started selling masks and hydroalcoholic gels; today it seems normal to everyone. It is a service objective that we wish to render, and that we are asked for. « 

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