Why Are Covid-19 Fast Tests Becoming More Expensive at Home? | Complete Info!
At-home quick COVID-19 tests, which appeared to be as scarce as rubies, have raced off shop shelves throughout the country — and certain versions of the test kits have suddenly become more costly.
After a selling agreement with the White House expired in December 2021, Kroger and Walmart raised prices on Abbott Laboratories’ popular BinaxNOW test kits in the midst of the omicron spike.
The Biden administration and Abbott Laboratories first agreed to allow Kroger, Walmart, and Amazon to offer BinaxNOW test kits to customers at a 35 percent discount for a three-month period.
“As the President stated in early September, Kroger is one of three national partners that committed to providing consumers with at-home, quick COVID-19 tests at no cost for 100 days,” said Kroger spokesperson Tiffany Sanders. “Of note, we kept our promise to sell at cost for 100 days to the Biden Administration, and that price program has since been phased down, and (pre-commitment) retail pricing has been resumed.”
After the arrangement expired, participating merchants were compelled to offer the kits at regular prices, raising the average cost per test kit by around $8. Walmart decided to extend the company’s reduced test kit pricing of $14.00 past the 100-day agreement in order to meet customer demand, before increasing the price to $19.88.
Walmart representative Tricia Moriarty said, “The program concluded in mid-December.” “While other shops raised pricing in mid-December, Walmart kept the price at $14.00 until after the holidays.”
On the Fred Meyers and Kroger websites, the identical 2-count BinaxNOW test kit is now offered at $23.99.
The demand for testing has not slowed despite the price hike. Online alternatives for BinaxNOW kits at Kroger and Walmart websites were unavailable or out of stock at the time of this writing.
Representatives from Kroger and Walmart told Nexstar’s KOIN 6 News that both firms are facing severe COVID-19 test kit shortages.
“We’ve noticed a lot of demand for COVID-19 testing kits at home, and we’re working closely with our suppliers to satisfy that need and bring the product to our clients,” Moriarty said.
Walmart claims to have high inventory levels in shops around the country, while test kits are more restricted online. Due to this tendency, Walmart has imposed a purchase restriction of “8 testing kits per online order to assist assure availability to more consumers” on BinaxNOW test kits.
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Kroger said it is actively working on solutions to the nationwide test shortage, which would have an impact on local supply.
“We are also aggressively adding new manufacturers to improve product availability around the country, including the Pacific Northwest,” Kroger Director of Corporate Communications Kristal Howard said in a statement.