The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced on Wednesday that it would be investing $650 million from the American Rescue Plan to strengthen the manufacturing capacity for quality diagnostic testing through rapid point-of-care molecular tests and increase Americans’ access to them.
The funding will expand and sustain capacity for hospitals, urgent care, pharmacies, and other community health care settings to help health care providers to confirm at-home test results as Americans turn to at-home rapid testing.
“Access to fast, accurate, and reliable tests help keep Americans safe and healthy,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, we are increasing our testing supply, investing in American manufacturers, and continuing to support these critical tools for getting the pandemic under control.”
The new investment will ensure that rapid tests are readily available across the country and provide results quickly. HHS will use the funds to ramp up U.S. domestic manufacturing capacity. By strengthening the country’s ability to produce the tests in the United States, the country will minimize its reliance on imports, as well as sustain long-term manufacturing throughout 2022, the department said. The funding will also support purchasing the raw materials and finished tests to increase the domestic supply of the tests.
The investments, along with a recent announcement of $3 billion in new investments by the administration, will grow the supply of rapid tests; quadrupling the supply of at-home tests by the end of the year. HHS also recently announced actions that would reduce costs, make tests more available, and support bringing more over-the-counter tests to market in the United States.