Arkansas pharmacies offer flu tests

Some Arkansas pharmacists are getting certifications that allow them to test you for the flu, allowing you to skip the doctor.

LONOKE, Ark. (KTHV) - If you do have the flu, chances are your doctor prescribes you Tamiflu and you'll go to your pharmacist to pick it up. Now, some pharmacies are becoming a one stop shop to confirm and treat the flu.

Inside Lackie Drug Store in Lonoke, pharmacist Brandon Achor is not just filling prescriptions.

"It’s been very busy," said Achor.

He's also been testing for the flu.

People can go in without an appointment. He uses a swab to test if you have the flu at all and confirm whether its Type A or Type B, just like you’d get tested at a physician’s office or an urgent care facility.

This season, he’s tested more than 120 people with less than 10 percent resulting positive. 

Insurance won't pay for it but for $30 dollars patients can get an answer in about 10 minutes. If it's positive, he will call your physician for an oral prescription over the phone. 

It's called Point of Care Testing. 

"It’s fairly new," said Achor.

Pharmacists can get certified to conduct flu and other tests, like for strep.

"We have lots of people who just want to know, ‘Do I have the flu? I was around a family member, please can you just give me a quick answer?'" said Achor.

While it's not a common practice by pharmacists, Achor has pharmacists calling often expressing interest in Point of Care Testing.

“As pharmacists, we are completely trained to help with Point of Care Testing and really should advocate to be out from behind the counter," said Achor.

This is still very uncommon so, even in Little Rock, there are not any pharmacists listed who can test for the flu yet. However, there are some who are in the process of getting certified.

To find a location in your area that conducts point of care testing, visit this website. Enter your location and select "Point of Care Testing."

For Little Rock, Cornerstone Pharmacy at Chenal, Cornerstone Pharmacy Lakewood and Cornerstone Pharmacy Rodney Parham are listed as having point of care testing but do not test for the flu.

© 2018 KTHV-TV


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