90.7 WMFE and 89.5 WMFV are Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming and Classical Music. Part of the community since 1965, providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

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

Play Audio

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.

Get The 90.7 WMFE Newsletter

Your trusted news source for the latest Central Florida news, updates on special programs and more.

Stay tuned in to our local news coverage: Listen to 90.7 WMFE on your FM or HD radio, the WMFE mobile app or your smart speaker — say “Alexa, play NPR” and you’ll be connected.

WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity