Public/Global Health

Retailers hike COVID-19 test prices after White House deal expires

U.S.-based retailers are increasing prices on some of their more popular at-home COVID-19 tests after a deal with the Biden administration to sell them at a lower cost expired last month, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Walmart announced this week that it is raising its COVID-19 testing kits’ prices to $19.98 a box, and Kroger Co. is now selling their testing kits for $23.99 a box, according to the Journal.

The two retail giants, along with software giant Amazon Inc., agreed with the White House last year to apply discounts to the BinaxNOW tests, which usually cost more than $24 for a box containing two tests.

Under the agreement, the BinaxNOW test previously sold for $14 a boxset, the Journal reported. 

The BinaxNow tests, approved by the Food and Drug Administration, are one of the most commonly used testing kits due to the recent surge of omicron variant cases in the U.S, The Journal reported. 

This comes at a time when testing kits have been hard to find, since BinaxNOW tests have been sold out on many prominent retailers’ websites, or take more than a week to arrive when ordered. 

The Biden administration announced last month it will start delivering at-home COVID tests in January and added that tests will become available to residents free of charge by mail through a new website. 

Spokespeople for Walmart and Kroger told the Journal that they are committed to selling COVID-19 tests at cost for three months and are taking steps to make tests more available.

The Hill has reached out to Walmart and Kroger for comment.

Tags at-home testing Biden Administration COVID-19 BinaxNOW Kroger omicron Walmart

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