Biden Administration to Invest $650 Million in Rapid Diagnostic Testing in Latest Action to Increase Access to Tests

November 10, 2021

Funding Will Expand and Sustain Testing Capacity for Hospitals, Urgent Care, Pharmacies and Other Community Health Care Settings to Help Health Care Providers Quickly Confirm At-Home Test Results As More Americans Turn to At-Home Rapid Testing

As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing commitment to increasing access to COVID-19 testing for Americans and to further strengthen domestic manufacturing of needed tests, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will invest $650 million from the American Rescue Plan to strengthen manufacturing capacity for quick, high-quality diagnostic testing through rapid point-of-care molecular tests and increase Americans’ access to them.

As at-home testing increases, the need for follow-up testing in health care settings will likely grow. For example, if someone buys an over-the-counter rapid antigen test at their local pharmacy to take at home and tests positive, they may seek out a health care provider who would conduct another test to confirm that result. This new investment will help ensure tests like these are readily available across the country and can provide results quickly.

“Access to fast, accurate, and reliable tests help keep Americans safe and healthy,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, we are increasing our testing supply, investing in American manufacturers, and continuing to support these critical tools for getting the pandemic under control.”

Hospitals, urgent care centers, pharmacies and other community health care settings use rapid molecular tests to diagnose COVID-19, screen patients before surgery without unnecessary delays, identify people who may benefit from COVID-19 therapies, and confirm at-home test results.  

To support access to this type of diagnostic testing, HHS will use these funds to ramp up U.S. domestic manufacturing capacity. By strengthening our ability to produce these tests in the United States, we will minimize our reliance on imports from overseas, and sustain robust long-term manufacturing throughout 2022. The funding will also support purchasing raw materials and finished tests to increase our domestic supply of diagnostic tests.

This initiative builds on recent efforts by the Biden-Harris Administration to strengthen testing and make tests more available nationwide. President Biden recently announced $3 billion in new investments in rapid testing. These resources will grow the supply of rapid tests, including quadrupling the supply of at-home tests by the end of the year. HHS also recently announced a series of actions to help reduce costs, make tests more available, and support bringing more over-the-counter tests to market in the U.S.

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Source: US HHS