BETHLEHEM, Pa., May 13, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- OraSure Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq:OSUR), Walgreens (NYSE:WAG), and the Chronic Liver Disease Foundation announced today that they have joined with local health organizations to offer hepatitis C (HCV) testing with the OraQuick® HCV Rapid Test to individuals who may be at risk for HCV infection. The testing will be available in select Walgreens locations across 11 states in observance of National Hepatitis Testing Day, May 19. The on-site testing, patient education and linkage to care will be conducted by local health organizations. National Hepatitis Testing Day was established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as an opportunity to remind healthcare providers and those individuals at risk that they should be tested for viral hepatitis.
"Today, approximately 4 million Americans are infected with hepatitis C and the vast majority does not know it," said Dr. Willis C. 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."
"Hepatitis C is a silent epidemic and these testing events can help make a meaningful impact on prevention, treatment and awareness," said Glen Pietrandoni, Walgreens senior manager of virology. "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 FDA-approved and CLIA-waived point of care test for detection of HCV infection in at-risk individuals. The simple platform enables healthcare providers to deliver a diagnosis based on lab-accurate test results in 20 minutes, using venipuncture or fingerstick blood.
"Using traditional laboratory testing, individuals typically wait days or weeks before receiving their hepatitis C test results," said Douglas A. Michels, President and CEO 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."
In addition to this initiative with Walgreens and CLDF, OraSure's OraQuick HCV Rapid Test is being deployed at public testing events in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and other cities across the U.S. in recognition of National Hepatitis Testing Day.
For more information, including Walgreens testing locations and hours, please visit: http://www.TestHepC.com/Walgreens.
About OraSure Technologies
OraSure Technologies is a leader in the development, manufacture and distribution of oral fluid diagnostic and collection devices and other technologies designed to detect or diagnose critical medical conditions. Its innovative products include rapid tests for the detection of antibodies to HIV and HCV at the point of care and testing solutions for detecting various drugs of abuse. In July 2012, the Company received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the Company's OraQuick® In-Home HIV Test for sale directly to consumers in the over-the-counter (OTC) market - making it the first and only rapid OTC HIV test approved in the U.S. In addition, the Company is a leading provider of oral fluid sample collection, stabilization and preparation products for molecular diagnostic applications. OraSure's portfolio of products is sold globally to various clinical laboratories, hospitals, clinics, community-based organizations and other public health organizations, research and academic institutions, distributors, government agencies, physicians' offices, and commercial and industrial entities. The Company's products enable healthcare providers to deliver critical information to patients, empowering them to make decisions to improve and protect their health.
For more information on OraSure Technologies, please visit www.orasure.com.
As the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2012 sales of $72 billion, Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) vision is to become America's first choice for health and daily living. Each day, Walgreens provides more than 6 million customers the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice in communities across America. Walgreens scope of pharmacy services includes retail, specialty, infusion, medical facility and mail service, along with respiratory services. These services help improve health outcomes and lower costs for payers including employers, managed care organizations, health systems, pharmacy benefit managers and the public sector. The company operates 8,086 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Take Care Health Systems is a Walgreens subsidiary that is the largest and most comprehensive manager of worksite health and wellness centers and in-store convenient care clinics, with more than 700 locations throughout the country.
About the Chronic Liver Disease Foundation
Established in 2001, the Chronic Liver Disease Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) educational organization dedicated to providing hepatology related continuing medical education, news and information to healthcare professionals across the US. The CLDF is led by a Board of Trustees comprised of nationally renowned liver disease specialists. Furthermore, the CLDF believes that educational programs should be developed by the specialists who are actively involved in the research, treatment and management of a disease. As such the CLDF has developed a network of 75 Centers of Educational Expertise and multiple Advisory Boards who are actively involved in program creation related to specific disease topics which include; hemochromatosis, hepatic encephalopathy, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, hepatocellular carcinoma, HIV co-infection, liver transplantation and NASH/NAFLD. The CLDF's educational opportunities are offered in a variety of formats including an interactive web site, live meetings, teleconferences, print pieces, webcasts and other electronic mediums. For more information, please visit www.chronicliverdisease.org.
CONTACT: Media Contact: Jennifer Moritz Zer0 to 5ive for OraSure Technologies 917-748-4006 firstname.lastname@example.org
Source:OraSure Technologies, Inc.