U.S. to Pay $1.2 Billion for Abbott, Celltrion Covid Tests
(Bloomberg) -- The federal government is spending nearly $1.2 billion to purchase 187 million rapid Covid-19 tests from Abbott Laboratories and Celltrion Inc., according to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services official.
The deals, which include options to buy more, are part of an investment of about $2 billion announced by the Biden administration earlier this month to make the rapid tests more widely available. The government is also using the Defense Production Act to build out manufacturing capacity.
The products, known as antigen tests, return results in about 15 minutes on-site, without needing to be sent out to a laboratory. Demand for virus tests, including rapid screening, has surged amid the latest wave of Covid-19 in the U.S.
Under the new agreements, Abbott will provide between 13.4 million and 168 million of its BinaxNOW tests for $44.3 million to $554.4 million, according to an Abbott spokesperson and the HHS official. Celltrion will supply at least 19 million and up to 232 million of its DiaTrust tests for between around $50 million and $626.4 million, according to the official. Both products are point-of-care tests that can only be used in certain settings, such as medical facilities.
The U.S. also late last week struck deals worth $647 million with Abbott and other companies for 60 million rapid, over-the-counter tests, which are available to test-takers without a prescription.
Read more: Biden Buys $647 Million in Over-the-Counter Rapid Covid Tests
Those kits will start getting delivered next month, with the government able to place more orders through next fall, according to the Defense Department announcement late last week.
Celltrion didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
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