Infectious disease specialists are raising concerns about quick tests being used to diagnose conditions like strep throat

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(Published on Up North CBC)

On November 12 Up North aired a story about Ontario pharmacists looking to offer point-of-care testing … like swabbing throats to test for strep infections. They spoke with Catherine Nolin, a pharmacistcin Sudbury and a member of the Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada.The association is trying to expand pharmacists’ scope of practice. The association says they can offer a test for strep infections that’s faster than going to the clinic or doctor’s office. They want to start offering a swab to test sore throat to see if antibiotics are needed. Pharmacies in other provinces are offering customers similar tests for about $15. Up North’s Wendy Bird has been working on this story, and tracked down Dr. Jeffrey Pernica, headof the division of pediatric infectious disease at McMaster University. He says the Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada is basing its lobbying efforts on a recent study. That study concludes strep throat point of care testing in community pharmacies will save governments money.