In the Tetuan Pharmacy , located in the central street of the Andalusian capital, there are two types. Single unit and five. The one that sells the most, by far, is the first. It costs 7.95 euros , although “the price is free”, according to one of the workers of this establishment, which exhibits the Covid antigen test, one of the most demanded products this summer in Spain and which has reached one million sales since July 21 can be purchased without a prescription.An authentic fever that the province of Seville is not alien to either.
Although at first, due to the high demand of the first days, it was feared that there would be a problem of shortages, for now, Sevillian pharmacies have not reached such an extreme. In part, because its headlines have been quite farsighted. This has happened in the one on Calle Tetuan, where its owner obtained more than a hundred tests in the order he placed at the time its sale without a prescription was allowed. Since the beginning of August, 33 have been sold at this establishment.
According to data provided by Cecofar, one of the main distributors of pharmaceutical products, an average of 10,000 antigen tests are sold per week in the province of Seville, although it is true that the first few days the number of orders was higher, a trend that has eased, largely due to the fact that many Sevillians are now away from their usual homes, so this type of purchase performed in the place where they spend the holidays.
Among the clients who request this Covid self-diagnosis there is no specific profile. Of all ages and circumstances, according to the worker at the Tetuan Pharmacy. The causes of the acquisition are more common: they have been in contact with a positive coronavirus or are traveling in Seville.
“Many of those who buy the test are foreign tourists, especially French,” says this employee, who also details that two types of tests are sold in this business: saliva and nasal, although almost everyone opts for this second, “despite how annoying the test is.”
Although at first you might think otherwise, most customers hardly ask about its use. “Many are already informed on the internet”, refers this pharmacist, who, however, always recommends carefully reading the instructions that appear on the packaging, where its correct use is detailed through pictograms. The test that is hardly sold is the antibody test, which is carried out through drops of blood that are extracted with a prick in the fingertips.
Undoubtedly, the sale of antigen tests is one of the effects that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on pharmacies, which also witnessed, more than a year ago, the high demand for masks, which since the beginning of the summer They ceased to be mandatory outdoors, in spaces without crowds of people.
Also in the center of Seville, at the Gavino Pharmacy , on O’Donnell Street, interest in Covid self-diagnosis has been noted. In one month fifty antigen tests have been sold. The price, displayed on a poster, is identical to the previous establishment: 7.95 euros. In this case, the majority of the clientele that buys this product has an average age of between 40 and 50 years .
Within this group of buyers, tourists stand out to a large extent. “Many ask when they take them if it is good for travel, that is, if it gives them a negative result, it would be equivalent to a Covid certificate,” points out Ricardo Garcia , a worker at this pharmacy, who adds that the test lacks such validation.
In this regard, Antonio Mingorance , president of the Andalusian Council of Official Colleges of Pharmacists in Andalusia (Cacof), made it clear yesterday on Canal Sur Radio that pharmacy antigen tests “are not diagnostic, they are indicative and are not valid for the covid certificate, which can only be obtained with a PCR or an antigen test certified by a professional”. In other words, the use of this self-diagnosis is limited to the domestic sphere and acquires special interest during the holidays, when travel and living with people who live in another home for the rest of the year are common.
According to Mingorance, since July 22, nearly 400,000 antigen tests have been dispensed throughout Andalusia . The provinces where these sales have reached the highest levels are Malaga and Cadiz, where the residential population increases notably in summer.
A fever for this type of test that Sevillian pharmacies have also witnessed, in which this product has become very common and is being given enough outlet. At the Gavino Pharmacy, customers who request it hardly require an explanation for its use. “Many come already taught,” says Ricardo Garcia, who checked with a colleague that they work properly inside the pharmacy. If the summer of 2020 was marked by the masks, the summer of 2021 is marked by the antigen tests that, although they are not valid for travel, do provide some peace of mind in a home when they are negative. Or they serve to take extreme precautions in a positive case.

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