BETHLEHEM, Pa., Oct. 23, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- OraSure Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq:OSUR) applauds New York State's new hepatitis C (HCV) testing law, which requires providers in all clinical settings in the state of New York (except emergency rooms) to offer a one-time HCV test to individuals born between 1945 and 1965. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law today and it will take effect as of January 1, 2014.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HCV is the most common chronic blood-borne infection in the United States. Up to 75 percent of people with hepatitis C are unaware of their infection. It is estimated that Baby Boomers (adults born between 1945 and 1965) are five times more likely to have hepatitis C than other adults. The CDC recommends that all Baby Boomers, approximately 78.2 million individuals, be tested for hepatitis C at least once.
"We applaud New York State on its new hepatitis C testing law, and for its leadership in taking action to fight the hepatitis C epidemic," said Douglas A. Michels, President and Chief Executive Officer of OraSure Technologies. "As a result of this new law, we believe more individuals at risk for HCV will get tested and learn their hepatitis C status. With the use of our OraQuick® Rapid HCV test, individuals presumed to be infected can be referred immediately for follow-up care."The OraQuick® HCV Rapid Antibody Test is the first and only FDA-approved, CLIA-waived rapid, point-of-care test for the detection of antibodies to the hepatitis C virus. OraQuick® HCV results are available in 20 minutes, which can help increase the delivery of test results, allowing early diagnosis and linkage to care, treatment and prevention services, particularly for those at risk for hepatitis C. About OraSure Technologies OraSure Technologies is a leader in the development, manufacture and distribution of oral fluid diagnostic and collection devices and other technologies designed to detect or diagnose critical medical conditions. Its innovative products include rapid tests for the detection of antibodies to HIV and HCV at the point of care and testing solutions for detecting various drugs of abuse. In July 2012, the Company received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the Company's OraQuick® In-Home HIV Test for sale directly to consumers in the over-the-counter (OTC) market - making it the first and only rapid OTC HIV test approved in the U.S. In addition, the Company is a leading provider of oral fluid sample collection, stabilization and preparation products for molecular diagnostic applications. OraSure's portfolio of products is sold globally to various clinical laboratories, hospitals, clinics, community-based organizations and other public health organizations, research and academic institutions, distributors, government agencies, physicians' offices, and commercial and industrial entities. The Company's products enable healthcare providers to deliver critical information to patients, empowering them to make decisions to improve and protect their health.