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From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: Why Are Home COVID-19 Tests So Expensive and Scarce?


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As the holidays approach, we’re missing one thing that would make gatherings feel more secure: Home COVID tests are nowhere to be found.

Home tests were supposed to avert the need to go to a clinic or wait days to find out if you’re infectious. As it stands, if you’re able to find one in a pharmacy, it’ll cost you around $25.

In the U.K., people get free tests delivered to their homes on request. In most E.U. countries, retail tests are ubiquitous and cheap. So why are they still so pricey and hard to find here?

According to an investigative report by ProPublica, the answer appears to be overzealous regulation and a lack of government planning.

A frustrated FDA scientist told ProPublica about delays at the agency, saying, “They’re neither denying the bad [tests] or approving the good ones.” Meanwhile, both the Trump and Biden administrations banked on vaccines putting a swift end to the pandemic, failing to prioritize home testing.

Recently the Biden administration has taken steps to make home tests more widely available, and last week, the FDA announced it will step up the review process. But manufacturers are scrambling to build the necessary supply chains.

More at OrlandoWeekly.com.


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