Hepatitis C screening urged for all Canadians born between 1945 and 1975

Did you know that London Drugs offers accessible hepatitis C screening at select locations in BC and Alberta?Nine in ten people living with viral hepatitis C (HCV) are unaware that they have the life-threatening infection because it can take decades before symptoms become evident. The Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver guidelines recommend testing for people at increased risk of infection, as well as one-time testing for all Canadians born between 1945 and 197. Due to inferior infection prevention and control practices, and unscreened blood products before 1992.Anyone can now be screened for hepatitis C with a simple finger prick test at select London Drugs locations throughout BC and Alberta.  The test, called the OraQuick HCV Rapid Antibody Test, is more than 99% accurate at detecting HCV antibodies (tp show the history of exposure to the virus) within 20 mionutes. The cost of the test in BC is $24.In case of a positive antibody result, pharmacists will notify the patient’s family physician for a confirmatory blood test to determine the current infections status, called RNA viral Load. Pharmacists also provide education about available curative therapies and support patients through their treatment journey. Treatment typically involves daily antiviral medications for eight to 12 weeks and can cure over 95% of people with hepatitis C.In Alberta, the scope of practice allows pharmacists to order and interpret blood work and prescribe medication for chronic, non-complicated hepatitis C. Many London Drugs pharmacists are currently participating in a research study in Alberta, called LiveRx, providing this testing and linkage to care at no cost.Many London Drugs pharmacists have received additional education to offer expert advice, improve access to testing and treatment for this potentially liver-destroying virus, and reduce the stigma associated with the blood-borne illness. A complete list of locations where you can find our hepatitis C trained pharmacists can be found here. Related

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