MinuteClinics and Axis-Shield Ink Agreement to Provide Point-of-Care Hemoglobin A1c Tests in 600 CVS Pharmacies
Retail clinics ready to expand into chronic disease management and that can be a threat or an opportunity for clinical laboratories
Dark Daily has often predicted that rapid clinics in retail stores would actively look for opportunities to add specific medical laboratory tests to their on-site service menus. Now the largest retail clinic in the U.S. is set to deploy hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) testing analyzers in its 600 retail clinic sites throughout the United States.
This deal was announced in November between MinuteClinic, a division of CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE:CVS), and Axis-Shield plc (LSE:ASD, OSE:ASD), of Dundee, Scotland. The agreement calls for MinuteClinic to use Axis-Shield’s Afinion analyzer in all 600 of its clinic locations across the nation. The system’s HbA1c assay is CLIA-waived. The fully automated analyzer will allow MinuteClinic’s providers to collect a patient specimen and get the results of the hemoglobin A1c tests in as little as three minutes.
Of course, the business strategy here is to add the clinical services necessary so that providers can serve patients with diabetes in these retail clinic settings. This represents a sizeable market. According to the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet, there are 25.8 million adults and children with diabetes, and only 18.8 million have been diagnosed. Of greater interest for clinical laboratory managers and pathologists, 79 million Americans are considered pre-diabetic and, in 2010, 1.9 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed among individuals who are 20 years and older.