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MinuteClinic Offers New Rapid Pink-Eye Test; Detects Viral Conjunctivitis Infections in Minutes

Friday, September 18, 2009 General News J E 4
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ATLANTA, Aug. 11 MinuteClinic, the pioneer and largest provider of retail-based health care in the United States, is now offering a first-of-its kind rapid conjunctivitis (pink-eye) test at its 23 locations inside select CVS/pharmacy stores in the Atlanta area. The rapid test is a pilot project conducted in partnership with Rapid Pathogen Screening, Inc (RPS). MinuteClinic hopes to offer the test nationally at a future date in its clinic locations in 25 states.

The partnership makes the RPS Adeno Detector(TM) available to millions of Atlanta residents and allows MinuteClinic nurse practitioners to accurately diagnose whether a patient has viral or bacterial conjunctivitis. Practitioners can then identify a proper course of treatment and eliminate unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions when a viral condition exists.

"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."

Conjunctivitis is an infectious -- and frequently highly-contagious -- condition that is most often caused by either a virus or bacteria. It is often spread among children in close environments such as schools, camps and recreational activities.

Until now, the accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment of pink-eye has been difficult. While treatment with antibiotics is only necessary in 40 to 60 percent of cases, the majority of medical professionals prescribe antibiotics nearly 100 percent of the time. Indiscriminately prescribing antibiotics compounds the side effects associated with their overuse and increases patient resistance to these medications.

"Our goal was to develop new medical technology that improves patient outcomes and results in the highest level of care," said Robert Sambursky, M.D., Chief Medical Officer for RPS. "The RPS Adeno Detector(TM) gives medical professionals a safe, convenient and affordable option to diagnose pink-eye."

MinuteClinic health care centers are staffed by masters-prepared, board certified nurse practitioners who specialize in family health care and are trained to diagnose, treat and write prescriptions for common family illnesses such as strep throat and ear, eye, sinus, bladder and bronchial infections. Minor wounds, abrasions and joint sprains are treated, and common vaccinations such as influenza, tetanus, MMR, and Hepatitis A & B are available at all locations. In addition, MinuteClinic administers a series of wellness services designed to help consumers identify lifestyle changes needed to improve their current and future health, including screenings for diabetes, hypertension and obesity.

The cost for conjunctivitis treatment is $77. MinuteClinic is in-network with most major insurers in the Atlanta area, so patients are responsible for either their copay or the price clearly listed on the treatments and services menu. For those who are uninsured or prefer to pay out-of-pocket, MinuteClinic accepts cash, checks and credit cards.

About MinuteClinic

Minneapolis-based MinuteClinic is a subsidiary of CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE: CVS), the No. 1 provider of prescriptions and related health care services in the nation. MinuteClinic launched the first retail health care centers in the United States in 2000 and is the first provider to establish a national presence with about 500 locations in 25 states. By creating a health care delivery model that responds to consumer demand, MinuteClinic makes access to high-quality medical treatment easier for more Americans. The company has generated more than 4 million patient visits, with a 95 percent customer satisfaction rating. A recognized leader in the patient-centric health care movement, MinuteClinic consistently brings innovation to the marketplace and sets new standards for clinical quality that exceed the national guidelines established for store-based clinics by the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). MinuteClinic is the first retail health care provider to receive accreditation from The Joint Commission, the national evaluation and certifying agency for nearly 15,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. For more information, visit www.MinuteClinic.com.

About RPS:

Rapid Pathogen Screening, Inc. (RPS) -- a Florida-based company with facilities in Pennsylvania -- is a leading developer of point-of-care diagnostic devices. RPS is committed to the accurate and appropriate diagnosis of infectious diseases, and the fight to dramatically reduce the over prescription of antibiotics. For more information visit www.rps-tests.com

About the RPS Adeno Detector(TM):

The RPS Adeno Detector(TM) is a rapid direct sampling with filtration and concentration test for visual, qualitative in-vitro detection of adenovirus; the leading cause of viral conjunctivitis.

SOURCE MinuteClinic
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