Rapid pink-eye tests are now available in one state

August 19, 2009

MinuteClinic now offers a rapid conjunctivitis test at its 23 locations inside select pharmacy stores in the Atlanta area, according to a prepared statement.

Atlanta

-MinuteClinic now offers a rapid conjunctivitis test at its 23 locations inside select pharmacy stores in the Atlanta area, according to a prepared statement.

The clinic’s nurse practitioners can use the test to diagnose accurately whether a patient has viral or bacterial conjunctivitis, and then practitioners can identify an appropriate course of treatment, eliminating unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions, the company said.

“MinuteClinic patients will get on-the-spot results that provide a more precise pink-eye diagnosis,” said Donna Haugland, MinuteClinic chief nursing officer. “This helps prevent the overuse of antibiotics and can lead to prescription savings.”

Although treatment for conjunctivitis with antibiotics is necessary in only 40% to 60% of cases, the majority of medical professionals prescribe antibiotics nearly 100% of the time, according to the release.

“Our goal was to develop new medical technology that improves patient outcomes and results in the highest level of care,” said Robert Sambursky, MD, chief medical officer for Rapid Pathogen Screening (RPS) Inc. “The [test] gives medical professionals a safe, convenient, and affordable option to diagnose pink eye.”

The test is a pilot project conducted in partnership with RPS, and MinuteClinic said that it hopes to offer the test nationally at a future date in its clinic locations in 25 states.