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Collaborative Assessment by EUnetHTA concludes that CRP POC testing reduce antibiotic prescription for acute respiratory tract infections in primary care

The European network for Health Technology Assessment (EUnetHTA) has published a Collaborative Assessment where they evaluated the relative effectiveness and safety of using CRP POC testing to guide antibiotic prescribing in patients with acute respiratory tract infections (RTIs) in primary care settings.

QuikRead CRP, QuikRead go CRP, and QuikRead go CRP+Hb were part of the meta-analysis in systematic reviews together with 12 other CRP POC devices. The main conclusion of the report is that the use of CRP POC tests significantly reduce the antibiotic prescriptions for patients presenting in primary care with RTI compared with usual care. In addition, decreased antibiotic prescribing does not compromise patient safety in the short-term follow-up presented in the studies.

The assessment also aimed to evaluate the diagnostic test accuracy and analytical performance of the CRP tests. Due to the heterogeneity in different parameters, such as patient populations, diagnostic criteria, CRP cut-offs etc the meta-analysis of tests accuracy was not applicable. The analytical performance of the quantitative CRP POC test devices was found broadly comparable to laboratory CRP testing. However, the use of CRP POC devices in primary care may lead to greater variability of results due to less trained laboratory personnel. To minimise those risks, the assessment recommends proper training and quality assurance program to ensure analytical performance.