Cardinal Health, Abbott and Quidel to offer rapid OTC COVID-19 tests

The OTC tests expand Cardinal Health's COVID-19 testing and surveillance offerings in support of safe reopening programs.
Sandra Levy
Senior Editor
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Cardinal Health is partnering with Abbott and Quidel to commercialize and broaden access to over-the-counter rapid COVID-19 tests.

Cardinal Health will leverage its distribution network to support broad access to Quidel's QuickVue At-Home OTC COVID-19 Test and Abbott's BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self-Test, which allow consumers to easily perform tests for the virus without a prescription. 

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"Rapid over-the-counter tests will be pivotal in supporting the safe and sustained reopening of our country, especially as we see a rise in cases due to the Delta variant," said Chris Kerski, senior vice president and general manager, Cardinal Health Laboratory Products. "Because we offer a full suite of solutions for COVID-19 testing, as well as vaccine transport and storage, Cardinal Health has been helping organizations and communities determine the best solutions for bringing their populations safely back out of the home since the pandemic began. We're proud to say we now offer these over-the-counter products as part of our holistic laboratory products portfolio."

[Read more: CVS Pharmacy, Walgreens and Walmart now selling Abbott’s at-home COVID-19 test OTC]

With the addition of rapid at-home tests, Cardinal Health's laboratory products portfolio can now support customized testing and surveillance programs for workplaces, the travel and hospitality industry, and schools with comprehensive solutions that include at-home tests, rapid on-site testing, PCR (molecular testing) and on-site or at-home specimen collection.

"Cardinal Health's safe reopening offerings and broad channel presence will play a key role in widening access to testing," said Douglas Bryant, president and CEO of Quidel. "Quidel and Cardinal Health have collaborated closely since the start of the pandemic to serve the country with these COVID-19 testing solutions. On March 17, 2020, just days after the U.S. declared COVID-19 a national emergency, we received emergency use authorization of our high throughput PCR testing platform and, that very same day, announced that we partnered exclusively with Cardinal Health to distribute it rapidly and broadly. This was essential early-on in the global fight against the virus – and the work didn't stop there."

COVID-19 OTC rapid tests allow employers, schools and individuals to easily implement screening and surveillance testing programs to identify both symptomatic and asymptomatic infections. While the effort to vaccinate more Americans continues, these programs will also remain a vital piece in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 as new variants like Delta emerge and with the potential for the virus to reemerge seasonally.

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"As the most widely used and studied rapid COVID-19 antigen tests in the U.S., BinaxNOW has helped communities, schools, workplaces and families quickly identify infectious people and help stop the spread of the virus," said Andrea Wainer, executive vice president, Rapid and Molecular Diagnostics, Abbott. "Partnering with Cardinal Health widens the distribution of our over-the-counter self-tests to more organizations around the country, providing people with answers quickly and in the comfort of their own homes."

In addition to providing COVID-19 OTC rapid tests, Cardinal Health Laboratory Products provides consumables, including swabs and viral transport media, as well as customizable specimen collection kits to support the testing needs of laboratories and decentralized testing sites. It also provides a range of solutions for COVID-19 vaccine storage from the time it is manufactured until it's administered. In addition, the company offers comprehensive testing solutions for respiratory viruses and other infectious diseases ranging from core lab molecular testing to rapid point-of-care platforms.