Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences News

At-Home Covid-19 Test Kit Makers Come Under Lawmaker Scrutiny (1)

March 25, 2020, 3:47 PMUpdated: March 25, 2020, 7:50 PM

Companies making at-home testing kits for Covid-19 have until Friday to respond to lawmakers’ questions about their unauthorized products, including how many they’ve sold and whether they’ll offer refunds.

The Food and Drug Administration has warned consumers that it hasn’t authorized any kits that people can buy to test themselves at home for the virus. Everlywell, Carbon Health Medical Group, and Nurx have advertised such at-home test kits.

The House Oversight Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy on Tuesday sent letters to those companies, asking them when they started offering the test kits for sale, how much they charged, how many they’ve sold, and whether they intend to destroy consumer samples.

“It is critical that all consumers are protected from companies attempting to profit off of a public health crisis,” House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) said in a statement Wednesday.

Nurx stopped offering at-home kits March 21 after the FDA announced that home test kits aren’t authorized, company spokeswoman Allison Hoffman said. All 181 patients who would have gotten a kit have been refunded, and the company won’t process any samples, she said.

Everlywell has “not provided any collection kits to consumers” and is working with the FDA “on a path forward for COVID-19 sample self-collection in a home setting,” the company said in an emailed statement. Everlywell has distributed test materials only to health-care facilities and providers “on the frontlines” and is providing tests at cost to hospitals and organizations who commit to giving it to their workers and patients for free, according to the statement.

Carbon Health didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Updated with comments from the companies)

To contact the reporter on this story: Jacquie Lee in Washington at jlee1@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Fawn Johnson at fjohnson@bloomberglaw.com; Alexis Kramer at akramer@bloomberglaw.com

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