Thyroid UK
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Ordering Lab Tests Online In The USA

This is an interesting development if the FDA doesn't kill it. It could be the forerunner for what happens in the UK. Theranos, by the way, is still in the process of adding new Walgreens stores. There is also a trend for Pharmacies to add walk-in clinics with nurses for minor medical problems. Nurse Practitioners can now write scripts in about 20 states. PR

3 Replies

We already have several companies that offer a wide range of testing directly to patients - without doctor involvement.

We are also seeing the NHS and the pharmacy industry persuading us to go to pharmacies for minor issues.

Some of my concerns start with these very pharmacies, which are supposed to be handling an increasing part of the health workload at the minor end of the spectrum, already struggling to fulfil their main function. Some pharmacies take quite a while to dispense even simple things. Some pharmacies which appear to have good opening hours actually have meal-breaks for their pharmacists which mean they are not as available as it initially appears. We have very few pharmacies that are open overnight, on Sunday mornings, etc. Given all this, how can they cope? And if they can't cope without extra staff, who will pay for these staff? Add in testing and if they get more than a small number of requests, they simply won't cope.

Having said all that, the idea of any restriction on testing seems to me to be inherently wrong. We all have the ability to perform numerous "tests" on ourselves. We have weighing scales, rulers, can measure pulse with a watch, identify liver problems from yellow skin, copper excess of Wilson's Disease by looking at our eyes, skin disorders usually present themselves visually (plus itching, etc.), and on and on. In the more recent past add in blood pressure machines, pulse oximeter devices, fat-estimating scales, and goodness knows what from Fitbit, Apple, and many others. The simple fact that some parameters are easy to measure and others require the latest laboratory science is not a reason for denying access to those that we cannot do ourselves. (And sometimes, these tests will simply be more accurate or confirmation of what we already think.)

Re the USA, I thought that both California and New York had legal restrictions?


Rod, from the odd comment here and there I've heard New York does have some very restrictive policies regarding testing and the tests available but I've not heard anything about California in that sense. I'm quite curious to see how Theranos turns out, initially they requited a doctor's order for testing, not sure they still do. PR


This article, from 2002 so quite possibly well out-of-date, says something about Californian restrictions: