Diagnostic Makers Launch U.S. Test Registry To Target Covid-19 Hot Spots

  • July 30, 2020

The effort is a partnership of the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) and 13 of its member companies:  Abbott Laboratories; Becton Dickinson; bioMérieux; Bio-Rad; Beckman Coulter; Cepheid; Hologic; Ortho Clinical Diagnostics; Qiagen, Roche Diagnostics; Sekisui Diagnostics; Siemens Healthineers; and Thermo Fisher Scientific.

Already, the companies involved are shipping more than 800,000 tests a day in the U.S. and have manufactured more than 65 million tests for the coronavirus strain Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.

The registry will work to make sure there is data-sharing and streamlined communication between the companies, U.S. and state governments for a standardized approach to supply reporting.  The registry is also designed to “facilitate collaboration with laboratories and other public health stakeholders” to increase access to all Covid-19 testing and make sure test shortages are quickly addressed.  “It’s the big picture data that is helpful to them to guide decisions in the middle of a crisis,” AdvaMed, President and CEO Scott Whitaker said in an interview.  The registry is designed so states and their health departments, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and other federal agencies have a “full picture of what is available,” Whitaker said.

The effort comes as states across the country, including hot spots Arizona, Texas and Florida struggle with Covid-19 testing with reports of Americans waiting in long lines that take hours just to get a test and then several days to a week or more to get results.

The registry will provide weekly state and federal updates on an array of tests, including molecular, antigen and antibody tests.  The companies involved account for about 95% of the tests shipped in the U.S., AdvaMedDx Executive Director Susan Van Meter said.

For now, most of the tests in the U.S. market are molecular to test Americans to see if they have Covid-19; however, those involved expect antibody tests to become more prevalent as states continue to open up their economies and schools and universities in the fall.  “It is absolutely vital to our nation’s health and economic recovery that we have sufficient supplies to test everyone who needs it, and, just as important, to know where these supplies are so we can get them where they are most needed,” Whitaker said in a statement.  “This national registry will be a crucial tool for federal and state authorities as they work to protect the health of both patients and health care providers and move to reopen the U.S. economy.”

REFERENCE:  Forbes Magazine (Healthcare); 21 JUL 2020; Bruce Japsen

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