Manufacturer of rapid Covid tests told factory to destroy inventory

Addressing the challenges ahead in the United States, Abbott’s director of public affairs, Aly Morici, said in an email that it was “diff...


Addressing the challenges ahead in the United States, Abbott’s director of public affairs, Aly Morici, said in an email that it was “difficult to scale up on a dime, but we are doing it at new”. She acknowledged that “there will be supply constraints over the next few weeks.”

Abbott urged workers to return to the Maine plant this month to respond to what it described in a letter as “unforeseen manufacturing needs.” But it is not known how many employees will return. They would forgo weeks of pay for not doing a job, as their severance package provides, with only a two-week “thank you” pay extension and no guarantee that their employment will last.

The company was not in that position at the start of 2020. Anticipating the need for rapid and reliable testing that does not require specialized equipment, Abbott assembled a team of around 100 scientists, supply chain experts and engineers to design BinaxNOW within a very tight deadline. The company took risks by importing expensive equipment and opening two factories in the United States. “Everyone was working nonstop,” said Ford. “This is ultimately what Abbott was built for.”

The test strip, resembling that of a pregnancy stick, is less sensitive than PCR but provides results on the spot, allowing a business or school to take immediate action.

The FDA granted emergency clearance to BinaxNOW last August. A day later, the U.S. government announced plans to purchase 150 million tests for $ 760 million – $ 5 per test, plus shipping – for use in environments such as nursing homes and schools.

Friendship Public Charter School in Washington received 20,000 government-purchased BinaxNOW tests free of charge as part of a pilot program supported by the Rockefeller Foundation. Patricia A. Brantley, the school’s executive director, said 70 percent of parents of students chose to be swabbed once a week. “Testing is always an important part of the strategy not only to reopen schools, but to keep them open,” Ms. Brantley said.

Northwestern University also adopted BinaxNOW early, testing students twice a week. The university performed up to 5,000 rapid tests per day, according to Luke Figora, the school’s vice president of operations.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Manufacturer of rapid Covid tests told factory to destroy inventory
Manufacturer of rapid Covid tests told factory to destroy inventory
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