Multinational medical technology company Becton Dickinson's smartphone-based rapid antigen test for COVID-19 is now commercially available. Its Veritor kit, which contains two tests, has recently seen a widely available price drop of around $15 thanks to a partnership between the Biden administration and retailers such as Walmart, Kroger, and Amazon. In September, those companies cut a deal to offer over-the-counter tests at cost to reduce consumer expenses by 35%. Special bulk packages are also in place for schools and businesses through BD's usual sales channels.
Designed in cooperation with Scanwell Health, The Veritor kit scored emergency use authorization from the FDA in August. Self-testing is cleared for those aged 14 and older; children from two to 13 must have their samples collected by an adult.
BD was one of a select few test-makers to be awarded a collective $77.7 million from the National Institutes of Health’s RADx program to hasten the development of smartphone-based rapid tests.
Moreover, the company recently signed a deal with the U.S. government to shore up its COVID-19 diagnostics for the "long haul" of the pandemic. This entails generating combination tests that can use a single sample to screen for a wide range of infectious diseases, including the flu. This $24.7 million contract from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) tasks BD with securing FDA authorization for five of its diagnostic tests. Depending on the use of options, the contract may end up surging in value to $40.3 million.