Real-Time Flu Test Now Available for Pharmacies

Pharmacies may now use a test that can detect the flu within 20 minutes.

Pharmacies may now use a test that can detect the flu within 20 minutes.

Roche’s influenza A and B assay recently received FDA clearance, making it available for health care providers in nontraditional testing sites such as pharmacy clinics, physician offices, and health department clinics.

“Effective management of influenza relies on accurate detection within 48 hours of onset, which can be challenging with current turnaround times for lab-based test results,” stated Roche Diagnostics COO Roland Diggelmann. “The cobas Influenza A/B test provides lab-quality…results in less than 20 minutes, enabling health care providers in all settings to give prompt and confident diagnosis and treatment to patients.”

The flu test uses real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology to quickly detect and differentiate influenza A and B virus. It targets highly conserved regions of the influenza A and B genomes to provide broad strain coverage of more than 30 commonly found strains of both flu viruses.

This provides faster flu diagnosis and treatment in community pharmacy-based clinics, which are often the most accessible and convenient health care resources for patients who are experiencing flu symptoms.

The cobas Influenza A/B test is the second molecular test on Roche’s cobas Liat System to receive a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) waiver, as the cobas Strep A test received one in May.