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Boost in Test Price

Retailers like Walmart and Kroger are raising the price of some at-home COVID-19 testing kits, according to the Wall Street Journal.

It adds the price of Abbott Laboratories' BinaxNOW test is to rise from $14 to $19.98 a box at Walmart and is now $23.99 at Kroger. The earlier price stemmed from a deal between the Biden Administration and Walmart, Kroger, and Amazon to sell the tests at cost. But as that deal expired last month, the retailers are now raising their prices, the Journal says, noting the test is not currently available through Amazon.

Pharmacy chains like CVS and Walgreens as well as other stores have already been charging $23.99 for the test, while other retailers have been charging even higher prices, it adds. Eric Feigl-Ding from the Federation of American Scientists tells the Journal that lower, not higher, prices are needed to encourage widespread testing.

"When the prices are that high, people will rationalize not using a kit," he says there, adding that tests should be free or cost as little as $1 to promote their use.

As the Journal notes, many stores are sold out of at-home testing kits, and while some pharmacies and clinics offer free testing, lines can be hours long and appointments hard to come by.