Rx trends 2015: Pharmacy-based diagnostic screenings

Patient screenings and advanced, gene-based diagnostics may soon become a standard and universally accepted part of retail pharmacy's service platform.

Patient screenings and advanced, gene-based diagnostics may soon become a standard and universally accepted part of retail pharmacy's service platform. The shrinking pool of overburdened family doctors is shifting more primary care services to pharmacists, just as the field of genomics explodes and rapid advances in diagnostic technology put cheap, easy-to-use screening tools into the hands of pharmacists. Point-of-care testing services are "going to be bigger than immunizations," says Michael Klepser, professor of pharmacy practice at Ferris State University. Meanwhile, health plan payers are on a desperate quest to cut costs with alternative-site patient screenings and more rapid diagnosis and treatment of diseases. "Consumer demand for pharmacogenetic testing is growing, and the interpretation of results by pharmacists or prescribers regarding pharmacogenetic tests may soon become a part of routine clinical practice," says APhA.