Pharmacy coeliac test concern

SPECIALISTS have raised concerns about point-of-care (PoC) finger-prick testing for coeliac disease, currently offered in 440 Australian pharmacies and set to be rolled out to doctors this year.

In a letter to the MJA, gastroenterologists Dr Evan Newnham and Dr Jason Tye-Din said the accuracy of the PoC test Simtomax was inferior to lab-based tests, and interpreting the coloured line that appears on the device can be challenging.

False positive results occur in up to 10% of PoC coeliac tests, with false negatives reported in 15–20%,