Pharmacies Distribute Rapid Antigen Test Kits to Support Small and Medium-Sized Businesses to Operate Safely

Leading discussions with the Government of Canada and working with pharmacy and distribution partners, Neighbourhood Pharmacies is promoting economic recovery and healthy communities by supporting the distribution of rapid antigen tests through pharmacies to small and medium-sized businesses. Currently, pharmacies in Ontario, Alberta and Manitoba are participating – with a view to expanding to other provinces.

This initiative is a clear example of how pharmacies, as an essential service, alleviate stress on local health systems and continue stepping up to advance an increasingly flexible response to the pandemic.

Rapid testing is a cornerstone of responding to the COVID-19 crisis. With 11,000 community pharmacies located throughout the country, pharmacies are a logical place to distribute rapid tests. Distributing to local SMEs through community pharmacy means rapid COVID-19 test kits will be made available to SMEs in an accessible, equitable way.

Pharmacy is pleased to partner with government to make these tests accessible to businesses. Our members confirm they can distribute these tests, and we know pharmacy teams have the skill, knowledge, and training to accelerate the distribution of tests innovatively. These rapid antigen tests are a critical piece of the puzzle for a sustained, practical pandemic response.

Pharmacies that would like to distribute rapid test kits can register on the Government of Canada’s Pharmacy Rapid-Test Distribution Portal.

Registration for small and medium-sized businesses in Ontario, Manitoba, and Alberta to participate in the program is expected in mid-August. Like pharmacies, businesses will register using a similar online portal. Health Canada will make a list of participating pharmacies available to businesses upon their registration. Businesses will pick up their rapid test kits from a participating pharmacy of their choice.

Neighbourhood Pharmacies has worked with the Government of Canada and our pharmacy and distribution partners to develop resources to support pharmacies’ participation in the program:

  • Pharmacy “How To” Information Guide  – outlines the operational flow of the program, which includes information on pharmacies’ responsibilities, how to order test kits, and reporting requirements for the distribution of tests to SMEs.
  •  Rapid Tests Training Document (link below to access) to be used by pharmacies in training businesses on the functionality of the rapid antigen tests

If you are a small to medium sized organization interested in receiving rapid antigen test kits to implement workplace screening of close-contact employees, please visit the Government of Canada   website for more information on program eligibility, reporting requirements and registration. 

For more information, please contact can contact Health Canada directly at .

We will continue to update this webpage with details on the program. If you have questions please get in touch your pharmacy chain/ banner/ buying group head office or contact us at 


Rapid Tests Training Document