Home COVID-19 tests are selling up to triple their retail price as the surge in the Omicron variant causes massive shortages of crucial kits.
And it’s not just online opportunists who are raising prices.
Some large retailers have started charging more for testing in recent weeks. Walmart and Kroger recently increased their prices after their 100-day agreement with the Biden administration to sell the kits “at cost” expired.
Walmart sells BinaxNOW kits for $ 20 each. Kroger increased the prices to $ 24 per kit.
The shortage of testing has prompted some Americans to use creative ways to acquire the kits – often at high prices. An employee at a New York City restaurant told Bloomberg that she and her colleagues bought four tests for $ 180 from someone who got them for free in the course of their work.
In December, President Joe Biden pledged to distribute 500 million free home COVID-19 tests to help ease the shortage.
Meanwhile, government officials have expressed concern over soaring prices for home testing. In December, New York Attorney General Letitia James issued a warning about a “potential price increase” after her office received complaints about BinaxNOW kits “sold illegally for over $ 40 and up to $ 70. $ per package “.
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“If New Yorkers see exorbitant price increases on test kits or other products vital and necessary for health, safety and well-being, they are encouraged to report it immediately to my office,” he said. James said in a statement.
“And fraudsters are being warned that if they attempt to push prices up during this new surge, we will not hesitate to take action.”
Abbott Laboratories, which makes the BinaxNOW assays, told Bloomberg it had not increased the prices of the kits since their first release.
Abbott Laboratories did not immediately return the Post’s request for further comment on the situation.