Sumary of Covid rapid tests are cheap or free in other countries. Why do Americans pay so much?:
- Rapid at-home Covid tests are flying off store shelves across the nation and are largely sold out online as the delta variant complicates a return to school, work and travel routines.
- For Americans looking for swift answers, the cheapest over-the-counter Covid test is the Abbott Laboratories BinaxNOW two-pack for $23.99. Close behind are Quidel’s QuickVue tests, at $15 a pop.
- After a surge in demand, CVS is limiting the number of tests people can buy, and Amazon and Walgreen’s website were sold out as of Friday afternoon.
- President Joe Biden said Thursday he would invoke the Defense Production Act to make 280 million rapid Covid tests available.
- The administration struck a deal with Walmart, Amazon and Kroger for them to sell tests for “up to 35 percent less” than current retail prices for three months.
- For those on Medicaid, the at-home tests will be fully covered, Biden said.
- As schools open and much of the country languishes without pandemic-related restrictions, epidemiologists say widespread rapid-test screening — along with vaccination and mask-wearing — is critical to controlling the delta variant’s spread.
- Yet shortages, little competition and sticky high prices mean routine rapid testing remains out of reach for most Americans, even if prices drop 35 percent.