Local doctors sound off about Kinney Drugs' new in-store clinic

SYRACUSE (WSYR-TV) - A group of local doctors say Kinney Drug's new in-store clinic is "poor medical practice" and could pose a risk to the patient's health.

At the clinics, pharmacists will be able to perform rapid diagnostic tests in a consultation room for patients who are experiencing strep throat and flu-like symptoms. 

The pharmacist will attempt to contact the doctors for prescription approval when tests turn out positive for strep or flu.  People can also sign up for a "telemedicine" consultation online, for possible prescription approval.

This is raising concerns for many local doctors.

Although Kinney says its pharmacists have special training, Dr. James Edinger, family medicine physician, along with several of his colleagues in the Family Care Medical Group, say knowing a patient's medical history is key.

"Traditionally we've been taught you get the diagnosis 80 percent of the time based on the history, but that means 20 percent of the time the physical examination is extremely important and could make the correct diagnosis or if not done, could miss the correct diagnosis," Edinger said.

For Dr. Mitchell Brodey, an infectious disease specialist, the Kinney Drug clinic's rapid tests come with another concern: inaccuracy.

"If the test is negative, it means you have a 50 percent chance of having the disease. There is still a chance you have the disease, so a negative test doesn't mean you don't," said Dr. Brodey.

Dr. Brodey suggests patients call their doctor's after-hours care-line or go to an urgent care for a diagnosis.

Here's a statement from Kinney Drugs:

The intention of this program is and always has been to refer patients who test positive for either strep or flu back to their primary care providers. Our Pharmacists do not diagnose; they test. If a patient has no primary care provider, our Pharmacists help them understand their options to obtain appropriate medical care and follow up.
Our Pharmacists are nationally certified to perform the tests. The Pharmacists share the test results with the patient’s primary care provider, who then makes the diagnosis and decides upon an appropriate treatment plan for their patient.



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