NEW YORK – The US Department of Health and Human Services will invest $650 million from the American Rescue Plan to increase rapid molecular point-of-care diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2, the White House COVID-19 Response Team announced on Wednesday.
During the team's briefing, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeff Zients said the funding would be used to provide POC test manufacturers with advance purchase commitments so they can scale up test production.
The new investment will ensure people can readily access quick follow-up testing in healthcare settings after taking over-the-counter antigen tests, the White House said in a statement.
It will also support purchasing raw materials and finished tests, the White House said.
The investment builds on previous funding from HHS and other federal agencies to increase the availability of COVID-19 tests.
Late last month, the National Institutes of Health said it will invest $70 million to bring more at-home tests to market and initiated a program to accelerate evaluation of over-the-counter COVID-19 tests with potential for large-scale manufacturing by the US Food and Drug Administration.
Also last month, NIH's Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics initiative issued $77.7 million in new contracts for SARS-CoV-2 rapid diagnostic tests.