High Demand for At-Home COVID-19 Tests Could Hamper Supply, Abbott Says


(HealthDay News) — Demand for Abbott Laboratories’ at-home COVID-19 tests has reached “unprecedented” levels and supply may be limited in the coming weeks, the company says.

Sales have skyrocketed due to the surge in cases driven by the highly transmissible delta variant, CNN reported.

“We’re seeing unprecedented demand as case rates rise — and we’ve been scaling up manufacturing since delta became the dominant strain and new CDC guidance called for a reprioritization of testing,” Abbott spokesperson John Koval told CNN. “Today, there are tens of millions of BinaxNOW tests in various settings and supply chains. We’re working with our customers to ensure tests get to where they’re most needed and we’re ramping back up, as we did last year. There will be some supply constraints over the coming weeks as increased capacity comes online.”

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Two other COVID-19 test developers — Labcorp and Quest Diagnostics — also told CNN they are seeing increased demand. “We continue to see increases in demand for COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction testing due to delta and as the school year begins,” Christopher Allman-Bradshaw, a spokesperson for Labcorp, told CNN. “We report numbers on a quarterly basis that we have seen an increase in testing as caseloads rise.”

Quest Diagnostics has seen a similar rise in demand for diagnostic testing. “While COVID-19 molecular diagnostic testing demand and positivity rates have climbed in recent weeks due to the nationwide increase in COVID-19 cases, we are performing and reporting the majority of COVID-19 tests within one day,” Kim Gorode, a spokesperson for Quest Diagnostics, told CNN. “We have ample capacity, but are adding molecular test instruments to bolster readiness in select laboratories in the Southeast and Southwest, where demand is comparatively high.”

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