Kroger, Walmart Hike Prices on At-Home COVID-19 Tests

Both stores were selling the kits at cost or at a discount but now have raised the prices

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WEDNESDAY, Jan. 5, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- At-home COVID-19 tests now come with a higher price tag, depending on where they are bought.

Kroger and Walmart stores were selling the test kits at cost or at a discount of up to 35 percent for 100 days after making a deal with the U.S. federal government, CBS News reported. That ended in mid-December, and now some retailers have raised the prices. The at-home test kits already had higher prices at other retail chains that did not pledge to sell them at cost.

Walmart kept the lower price of $14 for a box of two tests for longer than agreed to until after the holidays, a company spokesperson told CBS MoneyWatch. It is currently selling Abbott Binax Now test kits for $19.88 online. "We have seen significant demand for at-home COVID-19 testing kits and are working closely with our suppliers to meet this demand and get the needed product to our customers," the Walmart spokesperson said.

Walmart is also selling the Intrivo Diagnostics' On/Go rapid self-test kit and it is in stock at Walmart.com for $29.99 for a box of two kits. The test kits, made by health care company Ro, better known for its hair loss and erectile dysfunction products, were among its top three sellers over the holidays, Ro cofounder and CEO Zachariah Reitano told CBS MoneyWatch.

Meanwhile, a Kroger spokesperson said that the "pricing program has now phased out and retail pricing has been reinstated" after fulfilling its commitment to the Biden administration. Kroger is currently selling the Binax Now at-home COVID-19 test kit in its stores, pharmacies, and online for $23.99. The test kit is sold out online. The spokesperson said Kroger also sells the Quidel QuickVue test in its stores that do not have pharmacies.

Others retailers, like pharmacy chain CVS Health, have been selling the test kits for $23.99 a box all along, according to CBS MoneyWatch. That retailer is also currently sold out of the kits online.

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