LabCorp has now become the first company to receive approval to sell its COVID-19 test kit over-the-counter without a prescription, according to a statement from the company.
One of the largest diagnostics testing companies in the U.S., LabCorp could be a significant competitor to companies like EverlyWell, which received approvals for its at-home testing kits in May; MyLab Box, which announced a partnership with Walmart earlier this week to sell COVID-19 test kits with the giant retailer; or LetsGetChecked, which has its own at-home test.
LabCorp was actually the first company to receive approval from the FDA for its test kit, and now the company can sell the product through retail channels without a prescription.
“With the first over-the-counter at-home collection kit ever authorized by the FDA for COVID-19, we are empowering people to learn about their health and make confident decisions,” said Dr. Brian Caveney, chief medical officer and president of LabCorp Diagnostics, in a statement. “With this authorization, we can help more people get tested, reduce the spread of the virus and improve the health of our communities.”
It’s pretty inarguable that anything that reduces the friction consumers face in getting tested for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is a good thing. It’s also in line with a broader push to increase healthcare access for consumers in an effort to reduce costs.
When customers purchase the COVID-19 test kit, they register the kit on the company’s website and then follow the instructions given there. Tests results are delivered through a corporate portal and a healthcare provider is available to assist customers who test positive on how to proceed with a course of treatment.
The company said its kit should not be viewed as a substitute for visits to a healthcare professional and is intended for use by adults 18 or older.
It’s important to note that the LabCorp PCR test has not been cleared or approved by the FDA and is being authorized under an emergency use authorization.