Walgreens, CVS Get Rid of Limits on At-Home COVID-19 Tests: Report

by Samantha Whidden
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Pharmacy chains CVS and Walgreens are reportedly going to remove all limits on at-home COVID-19 tests in their stores. 

New York Times reports CVS and Walgreens had capped how many at-home COVID-19 tests customers purchased during the holiday season. This was due to the surge in COVID-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant. The surge drove more demand for home tests due to a lack of access to drive-up testing.

CVS spokesman, Matthew Blanchette, stated that the pharmacy chair has increased its inventory of over-the-counter COVID-19 rapid test kids. The company has made the decision to remove all limits on the products for pharmacy locations nationwide and CVS.com. According to CBS MoneyWatch, CVS currently has six different rapid COVID-19 test products in stock.

A representative at Walgreens said due to improved in-stock conditions, the company is removing purchase limits on at-home tests at almost all of its locations. CBS MoneyWatch observed that Walgreens was limiting customers to a maximum of four tests in stores or online. Now, a spokesperson states that customers are able to purchase as many as they want from the retailer. 

Michigan Pharmacies Reportedly Price Gouging At-Home COVID-19 Tests

FOX 2 reports a Notice of Intended Action reveals that two Michigan pharmacies are in trouble for allegedly price-gouging COVID-19 tests. Michigan Attorney General, Dana Nessel, confirmed that Value Center Pharmacy in Madison Heights; and Skips Pharmacy in Holland are the two pharmacies that are on the list of price-gouging pharmacies.

The Notice of Intended Action states there is evidence Value Center Pharmacy was charging $50 per kit for the iHealth Kits in December 2021. Skip’s Pharmacy was charging $80 per kit for that same product in early January 2022.

The Notice of Intended Action also reveals that information gathered provides probable cause to believe Value Center Pharmacy and Skip’s Pharmacy were charging prices to consumers for the iHealth kit grossly in excess of the price. These kits are available at other stores for a lower price.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration announced that insurance providers will be covering home COVID tests. Health and Human Services Secretary, Xavier Becerra stated, “By requiring private health plans to cover people’s at-home tests, we are further expanding Americans’ ability to get tests for free when they need them.”

However, a CVS spokesperson explained to CBS MoneyWatch, “In the early stage of this program, we strongly encourage customers to save their receipts as they may need to submit to their insurer.”

The only tests that are approved for this program are also those approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Consumers are able to cross-check the test names online through here. The Biden administration is also providing up to four at-home COVID-19 tests per home.

Outsider.com