On March 7, global life science company Labcorp and major US retailer Walgreens announced that Labcorp’s Pixel by Labcorp® COVID-19 at-home collection kit will be available at Walgreens locations across the US for free to eligible individuals. The PCR test has received Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
According to a statement released by the two companies, to be eligible to receive a free test, individuals must meet one or more of the below requirements:
- Be experiencing mild COVID-19 symptoms,
- Have been exposed to someone with COVID-19,
- Live or work in a congregate setting;
- and/or have been asked to get tested by a health care professional, contact investigator, or public health department
The kits, available through Labcorp’s Labcorp OnDemand online platform, are provided through a collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, aiming to offer a wider range of communities easier access to reliable testing services. Convenient access to accurate tests is a key part of the US government’s plan for safely returning to pre-pandemic activities.
Labcorp’s kits are shipped via FedEx Priority Overnight® and individuals typically get their results through the OnDemand platform one to two days after the lab receives the specimen.
“Walgreens is focused on reducing barriers to health care, including cost and transportation,” said Walgreens president John Standley in a statement. “Through our continued partnership with Labcorp and HHS, communities will have better access to convenient COVID-19 PCR testing. This is particularly important for uninsured, socially vulnerable, and medically underserved populations, who continue to be among those most impacted by COVID.”
Walgreens is also offering free drive-thru testing for anyone aged three and up at more than 7,000 of its US locations.
In a recent similar deal, Labcorp competitor Quest Diagnostics teamed up with Walmart in a partnership to develop a user-friendly website that offers 52 high-quality test kits, including those for COVID-19, some of which are for use at home. However, for the majority of the tests, purchasing online will save consumers the hassle of visiting a doctor’s office first, but people will still need to book an appointment at one of Quest’s patient service centers for a blood draw, according to the company. Get more details on this and other recent deals in the diagnostics industry in the March 2022 issue of Laboratory Industry Report.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to include clarification on Quest’s test offerings. The original piece stated that all 52 tests were for at-home use, when only select tests offer at-home specimen collection, including the following: COVID-19 Active Infection, COVID-19 At-Home Rapid Antigen Test, FIT Colorectal Cancer Screening, Diabetes Risk Test, and Diabetes Management Test.