As the Omicron variant surge produces mass shortages of the critical kits, at-home COVID-19 tests are reselling for up to three times their retail price.
According to Bloomberg, BinaxNOW quick tests are selling for as much as $75 through secondary dealers online, which is roughly three times the at-cost price of the kits, which contain two tests apiece.
It isn’t simply online speculators who are raising prices.
In recent weeks, some large shops have begun charging more for testing.
Walmart and Kroger recently raised pricing after a 100-day agreement with the Biden administration to offer the kits “at cost” expired.
BinaxNOW kits are available at Walmart for $20 each. Kroger hiked the price of the kit to $24.00.
Due to the scarcity of testing, some Americans have turned to unconventional methods to obtain the kits – frequently at exorbitant fees. One New York restaurant worker told Bloomberg that she and her coworkers paid $180 for four tests from a person who received them for free through their job.
To assist ease the shortage, President Joe Biden vowed in December to give 500 million free at-home COVID-19 testing.
Meanwhile, government authorities have expressed alarm about the increase in the cost of at-home examinations. After receiving complaints about BinaxNOW kits “being unlawfully sold for more than $40 and up to $70 each package,” New York Attorney General Letitia James issued a warning about “possible price gouging” in December.
“If New Yorkers notice unreasonable price rises on testing kits or other important and necessary commodities for health, safety, and welfare, they are encouraged to immediately report it to my office,” James said in a statement.
“And scammers should be aware that if they try to price gouge during this current spike, we will not hesitate to take action.”
Abbott Laboratories, which makes the BinaxNOW tests, told Bloomberg that the kits’ pricing had not been raised since their first introduction.
Abbott Laboratories did not immediately respond to the Post’s request for additional information about the incident.