OraSure Technologies praises new hepatitis C testing recommendations
BETHLEHEM, Pa. — OraSure Technologies, makers of the OraQuick HCV Rapid Antibody Test, on Tuesday announced its support for the new recommendations issued by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.
The USPSTF gave both hepatitis C (HCV) screening for at-risk individuals and age-cohort screening a "B" grade. Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, preventive services that have received an "A" or "B" grade from the USPSTF must be covered by insurance policies without cost-sharing and be part of the essential health benefits for those individuals eligible for Medicare.
The new recommendations, "Screening for Hepatitis C virus infection in adults: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement," significantly expand the USPSTF's previous recommendation of screening for HCV. The recommendation is in response to the higher prevalence of HCV infection among Baby Boomers; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1-out-of-30 Baby Boomers is living with hepatitis C infection. The USPSTF recommends that all Baby Boomers be tested for hepatitis C at least once.
"We applaud the new U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations, which will help to make hepatitis C screening much more accessible as a regular part of medical care," said Douglas A. Michels, president and CEO of OraSure Technologies. "As a result of the recommendations, we believe that over time more individuals will get tested and learn their hepatitis C status, and we expect that our OraQuick Rapid HCV test will enable individuals presumed to be infected to be referred immediately for follow-up care."
The OraQuick HCV Rapid Antibody Test is the first and only FDA-approved, CLIA-waived rapid, point-of-care test of the detection of antibodies of the hepatitis C virus. OraQuick HCV results are available in 20 minutes, which can help increase the delivery of test results, allowing early diagnosis and linkage to care, treatment and prevention services.