PharmaChoice, one of Canada's largest pharmacy networks, is slated to pilot the PreVu skin cholesterol test from Miraculins Inc. in Ontario and Atlantic Canada.

PharmaChoice, PreVu, skin cholesterol test, Miraculins, Canada, pharmacy network, drug store, National Heart Month, PreVu Non-Invasive Skin Cholesterol Point of Care Test, Lowell Johnstone, pharmacy services, coronary artery disease, diagnostic test, Paul Moreau, health screening, Pear Healthcare Solutions

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PharmaChoice stores to pilot PreVu skin cholesterol test

January 7th, 2013

WINNIPEG, Manitoba – PharmaChoice, one of Canada's largest pharmacy networks, is slated to pilot the PreVu skin cholesterol test from Miraculins Inc. in Ontario and Atlantic Canada.

Plans call for PharmaChoice, which comprises more thant 350 independent pharmacies, to introduce the PreVu Non-Invasive Skin Cholesterol Point of Care Test at up to 50 PharmaChoice network stores in February, which is National Heart Health Month in Canada, Miraculins said Monday.

The rollout to the initial PharmaChoice stores in Ontario, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland marks the phase-one launch of PreVu. PharmaChoice pharmacists will conduct the tests in-store as part of a series of special PreVu Cardiovascular Risk Assessment Clinics.

Phase two of the pilot will see more PharmaChoice stores offer the PreVu test in the following months, with all participating stores expected to transition to providing PreVu testing as an ongoing risk assessment service available on a walk-in basis or by appointment, according to Miraculins.

"At PharmaChoice, we are committed to providing the highest standard of health care and advice to our patients, and we are very pleased to be the first pharmacy in eastern Canada to introduce the PreVu POC Test to patients through our network of independently owned and operated community pharmacies," Lowell Johnstone, director of pharmacy services at PharmaChoice, said in a statement.

"PreVu represents a perfect fit for our pharmacies, which encourage preventative health care within the communities they serve," Johnstone stated. "With this important new noninvasive technology, we can identify patients who may be at higher risk for coronary artery disease. We are confident that the availability of this service in PharmaChoice pharmacies will raise heart health awareness for Canadians."

The PreVu test measures skin cholesterol, which Miraculins said is a key biomarker in assessing risk of coronary artery disease (CAD). The painless, in vitro diagnostic test — which involves no blood draw or needles and no overnight fasting — is conducted on the palm of the hand in less than five minutes. The results are available immediately, which Miraculins noted facilitates point-of-care consultation and discussion with patients about the next steps they can take to address their condition.

PreVu doesn't diagnose the presence or absence of CAD but helps identify patients who may be at higher, hidden risk for the disease, the company said.

Pear Healthcare Solutions, a Toronto-based provider of health screening and education services to pharmacy retailers in Canada, is the exclusive distributor of the test to that market.

"We are very excited to be expanding PreVu into eastern Canada through PharmaChoice, one of the country's most respected and forward-thinking retail pharmacy operations," commented Paul Moreau, vice president of sales and marketing for Miraculins. "Ontario and the Atlantic provinces represent significant markets for us, and our retail launch through PharmaChoice will provide us with access to millions of consumers who have come to trust the PharmaChoice brand in its delivery of neighborhood-based wellness advice and services. As an industry leader, PharmaChoice understands the critical importance of raising heart disease awareness at the grassroots level and by using the PreVu test, will be able to identify individuals at risk who could benefit from more intensive primary prevention measures directed by their doctors to help guard against a first heart attack."

The PreVu skin cholesterol test made its chain drug store debut in Canada last fall through a pilot with western Canadian pharmacy chain London Drugs. The test is due to be available at all London Drugs stores in March.

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