CLARK, N.J., May 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Chronic Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF) announced today that it's collaborating with Walgreens to offer free hepatitis C (HCV) testing with the OraQuick® HCV Rapid Test at more than 60 Walgreens retail pharmacies in 12 major cities throughout the country.
The program, which is slated to launch this August and run through January 2016, will offer free rapid HCV testing on specific days and times each week to patients at risk for HCV. Rapid testing and patient education will be conducted by trained healthcare professionals on site at each retail location and individuals who test positive will be linked directly to one of CLDF's 75 Hepatology Centers of Expertise throughout the U.S.
"The rapid hepatitis testing program demonstrates our commitment to helping patients access important information that can help to improve their health," said Glen Pietrandoni, RPh, AAHIVP, senior director, virology, Walgreens. "We are proud to collaborate with the Chronic Liver Disease Foundation on this initiative. Through this testing program we can help people become educated on the risk factors, identify people infected with HCV and help them get linked to appropriate care."
"Today, approximately 5.2 million Americans have 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 cure hepatitis C.
Each year, about 17,000 Americans become infected with hepatitis C. Up to 75 percent of people with chronic hepatitis C infection were born during 1945-1965, and up to three out of four people infected with hepatitis C are unaware of their infection.
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, accurate platform enables healthcare providers to deliver an accurate diagnosis in 20 minutes, using venipuncture or fingerstick blood. The test is manufactured by OraSure Technologies (NASDAQ: OSUR) in Bethlehem, Pa.
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.
Alessandra LaMastro for CLDF
SOURCE Chronic Liver Disease Foundation