Dr. Oz plugs in-pharmacy rapid diagnostic tests

January 20, 2014

During a recent episode of his nationally syndicated television show, Dr. Mehmet Cengiz Oz suggested that rapid diagnostic tests for strep throat should be available in pharmacies.

During a recent episode of his nationally syndicated television show, Dr. Mehmet Cengiz Oz suggested that rapid diagnostic tests for strep throat should be available in pharmacies.

While demonstrating the rapid antigen detection test for strep (see video here), Dr. Oz said: “I’m hopeful one day we’ll be able to get this in pharmacies.”

As it turns out, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) Foundation has provided grants to the University of Nebraska College of Pharmacy and the Ferris State College of Pharmacy to allow patients to be tested for strep and influenza in 80 participating pharmacies throughout the Midwest.

In suspected strep throat cases, specially trained and certified pharmacists screen patients for potential group A Streptococcus before performing a rapid antigen detection test.

If the patient tests positive for strep throat, a participating physician can prescribe an appropriate antibiotic and pharmacist dispenses it.

“[It] gives patients another point of access to healthcare,” said Aaron Jennissen, vice president of pharmacy operations for Thrifty White Pharmacy, which is participating in the NACDS Foundation program.

NACDS Foundation officials said such a process would allow patients to move from diagnosis to treatment without a doctor’s visit and without having to wait 24-48 hours for a traditional throat culture.

“Dr. Oz’s support for rapid diagnostic testing in pharmacies shows he understands, as a physician, the need for better and more convenient access to care for patients, which leads to improved outcomes and reduced overall healthcare costs. It’s a win-win all the way around,” NACDS said in a story posted on its website.