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OraSure, Walgreens partner on hepatitis C testing
May 14th, 2013
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – OraSure Technologies Inc. has teamed with the Chronic Liver Disease Foundation (CLIA) to offer hepatitis C testing at select Walgreens stores this month.
The diagnostic test company said Monday that the hepatitis C (HCV) testing will be done by local health organizations using its OraQuick HCV Rapid Test.
Testing will be available at Walgreens locations in 11 states in observance of National Hepatitis Testing Day on May 19. Besides conducting the on-site testing, local health groups also will provide patient education and linkage to care.
"Hepatitis C is a silent epidemic, and these testing events can help make a meaningful impact on prevention, treatment and awareness," Glen Pietrandoni, senior manager of virology at Walgreens, said in a statement. "By working collaboratively, we can help educate communities on the risk factors and link people to appropriate care."
OraQuick HCV is the first and only Food and Drug Administration-approved and CLIA-waived point-of-care test for detection of HCV infection in at-risk individuals, according to OraSure. The platform enables health care providers to deliver a diagnosis based on lab-accurate test results in 20 minutes via venipuncture or fingerstick blood.
"Using traditional laboratory testing, individuals typically wait days or weeks before receiving their hepatitis C test results," stated Douglas Michels, president and chief executive officer of OraSure Technologies. "The OraQuick HCV Rapid Test is ideal for use at the point of care. It's easy, accessible and provides lab-accurate results in 20 minutes, enabling individuals presumed to be infected to be referred immediately for follow-up care."
The company added that the OraQuick HCV Rapid Test also is being deployed at public testing events in Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles; New York City; Chicago; Pittsburgh; and other cities nationwide in recognition of National Hepatitis Testing Day.
"Today, approximately 4 million Americans are infected with hepatitis C, and the vast majority does not know it," commented Dr. Willis Maddrey, president of the Chronic Liver Disease Foundation. "However, new therapies are now available that can effectively treat and in some cases eliminate the virus from the body, making testing for HCV — particularly among baby boomers — a critical step in fighting this epidemic."