“The test we’re authorizing today will be able to provide Americans with results within hours, rather than days like the existing tests..."
Health & Human Services Secretary Azar announces first COVID-19 test approved by FDA that will provide almost immediate results.
- This COVID-19 test is the first to provide results at point-of-care – for example, in a doctors office or urgent care – much more similar to a flu test.
- Previous tests would have to be sent to a lab, leading to wait times of potentially several days.
- Point-of-care testing will be available by the end of March; the FDA approved the testing for use in certain labs as well.
- The U.S. gov’t does not specific where specifically the test will be available – we’ve inquired to see if its nationwide or in a limited roll out.
The announcement is below.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Issues first Emergency Use Authorization for Point of Care Diagnostic
March 21, 2020
Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued the first emergency use authorization for a point-of-care COVID-19 diagnostic for the Cepheid Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2 test.
“The test we’re authorizing today will be able to provide Americans with results within hours, rather than days like the existing tests, and the company plans to roll it out by March 30, which is an incredibly rapid timeline for such an effort. With new tools like point-of-care diagnostics, we are moving into a new phase of testing, where tests will be much more easily accessible to Americans who need them,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “With the development of point of care diagnostics, Americans who need tests will be able to get results faster than ever before. More and more options for reliable, convenient testing are becoming available at an incredibly rapid pace, thanks to the hard work of our FDA team and the ingenuity of American industry.”
“Our dedicated team at the FDA has been working nonstop to expedite the review and authorization of novel diagnostics during the COVID-19 public health emergency,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, M.D. “Today marks an important step in expanding the availability of testing and, importantly, rapid results. Point-of-care testing means that results are delivered to patients in the patient care settings, like hospitals, urgent care centers and emergency rooms, instead of samples being sent to a laboratory. With today’s authorization, there is now an option for testing at the point of care, which enables patient access to more immediate results.”
The FDA issued an emergency use authorization to Cepheid for the Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2 test for use in high- and moderate-complexity CLIA-certified laboratories as well as in certain patient care settings. The company intends to roll-out availability of its point-of-care testing by March 30.
The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.