The Food and Drug Administration announced on Wednesday that it has approved two rapid antigen at-home tests to be sold over the counter.
The approval of the two tests, Abbott's BinaxNOW test and Quidel's QuickVue, follows FDA creating a path for companies with already-approved rapid testing to be able to sell an over-the-counter version.
"This is a huge milestone," wrote Dr. Michael Mina, a Harvard epidemiologist, in a statement. "Having an inexpensive over-the-counter test can stop the virus from spreading by detecting people who are infectious and giving them an opportunity to know their status and ideally isolate accordingly."
Abbott said its test will be available in the "coming weeks," while Quidel did not provide a timeline. Neither company specified pricing in their statements.
"I think to make it truly accessible and truly deployable to millions of people to use in a frequent way, $7 or $8 [per test] is still too much money," Mina said. "But I think that this is just such an immense step forward that I'm not going to complain about it."
🔦 The FDA has previously approved a test by Ellume, which is not yet available in stores.