Abbott, Roche Win Biden Contracts to Make Covid Rapid Tests

Jan. 13, 2022, 11:29 PM

The U.S. inked a deal to provide 380 million Covid-19 tests manufactured by Abbott Rapid Dx North America, iHealth Lab Inc., and Roche Diagnostics Corp., as part of President Joe Biden‘s effort to provide 1 billion free tests nationwide.

The announcement Thursday marks the next step in Biden’s plan to counter surging cases of the omicron variant of the coronavirus. At the same time, the U.S. is facing a shortage of tests and long lines persist at testing centers across the country. Retailers are having trouble keeping at-home kits in stock and are raising prices.

It’s not clear how many of the tests will be available in the coming weeks, though Biden has promised to make a portion of them available by the end of January. The White House plans to launch a website for people to request them.

The Biden administration signed a few agreements in recent weeks to boost the supply of rapid Covid-19 tests. It finalized a $51.6 million deal last week with logistics company Goldbelt Security LLC to provide Covid-19 tests. It signed a separate contract with Revival Health Inc. to buy 13.3 million over-the-counter test kits. In late December, it signed a $136.7 million deal with Millipore Sigma, the life science division of Merck KGaA, to produce one of the materials used in rapid tests in its Wisconsin facility.

Separately, private insurers will reimburse Americans for at-home tests beginning January 15.

To contact the reporter on this story: Courtney Rozen in Washington at crozen@bgov.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Bernie Kohn at bkohn@bloomberglaw.com; Meghashyam Mali at mmali@bloombergindustry.com

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