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Siemens to Supply 50 Million Rapid Covid Tests for U.S. (1)

Jan. 24, 2022, 9:55 PMUpdated: Jan. 24, 2022, 10:13 PM

Siemens Healthineers AG will supply 50 million rapid Covid-19 test kits as part of President Joe Biden‘s push to deliver 1 billion free at-home tests to Americans, the Defense Department said.

The department didn’t say how much it planned to spend on the purchase. The Siemens test is a relatively new option for at-home testing in the U.S., as the Food and Drug Administration temporarily authorized it just last month.

The planned spending marks the next step in Biden’s plan to counter surging cases of the omicron variant of the coronavirus. Retailers in recent weeks have had trouble keeping at-home test kits in stock and long lines persist at testing centers across the country. Biden has promised to provide free tests and masks to Americans.

The government began taking orders for free tests last Tuesday, though it hasn’t finalized which manufacturers will supply all of them.

Other test makers that have significant government contracts include iHealth Labs, a unit of the Chinese company Andon Health Co. Ltd. that signed a $1.3 billion deal to provide test kits to the U.S. Abbott Laboratories, maker of the popular BinaxNOW over-the-counter test, is set to supply $306 million worth of tests to support Biden’s pledge.

(Adds information throughout about the Siemens deal, free rapid tests, and other testing manufacturers. )

To contact the reporter on this story: Courtney Rozen in Washington at crozen@bgov.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bernie Kohn at bkohn@bloomberglaw.com

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