Despite Doctors’ Concerns, Pharmacists Get More Leeway to Offer Treatment With Testing

by | Mar 31, 2022 | Health

When Reyna or Justin Ansley or one of their three kids feels sick and needs to be tested for strep throat or flu, there’s a good chance they’ll head to their local pharmacy in Hemingford or Alliance, Nebraska. Dave Randolph, the proprietor of both locations of Dave’s Pharmacy, can do a rapid test, give them medicine if they need it, and send them on their way.

“I’m a cattle rancher,” said Reyna Ansley, whose family lives about 15 miles outside Hemingford. “You don’t necessarily have the time to drive to the doctor and sit in the waiting room. It’s really quicker through Dave.”

The Ansleys don’t have health insurance and using the pharmacy, where Randolph charges $50 to $60 to do the tests, is cheaper than paying up to $200 for an office visit with a local doctor, Ansley said. If the test is positive, the medications generally cost $20 to $30.

Randolph’s ability to provide treatments for flu and strep throat is somewhat unusual. He can do so in Nebraska because he has an annual collaborative practice agreement with a local doctor that is subject to state approval.

The easy availability of pharmacists also helped propel them into a key role during the pandemic as they became a go-to resource for covid-19 testing and vaccines. Yet even be …

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