Abbott is the only business that has produced as many tests at such low cost since the pandemic began.
Neither finalised BinaxNOW products nor market-relevant test components that may have been contributed have been destroyed.
In reality, we can now scale up because Abbott kept usable test components. Public health guidelines advised vaccinated individuals to avoid testing unless they were experiencing symptoms.
Which led to a precipitous drop in demand for testing beginning in May as vaccination rates rose and summer set in.
Abbott possessed a sizeable stock of finished test kits at the time, more than enough to meet projected demand.
Card components lots 143608R and 143467R, as seen in images in The New York Times article, were discarded since their shelf life had expired after seven months.
Abbott Pointed to Reduced Demand for Testing with Vaccination
Abbott noted a decline in demand for testing as the number of vaccinations increased in tandem with the sharp decline in reported cases.
In accordance with public health guidelines advising immunised people to forego testing unless they have symptoms.
In response to consumer demand, the company claimed at the time that it had plenty of finished test kits on hand.
Card components for the BinaxNOW fast tests included in the New York Times piece were discarded.
Because they were seven months past their expiration date, according to the business. These components were identified as batches 143608R and 143467R.
Interview Response from Abbott’s CEO
Abbott CEO Robert Ford told the New York Times that the damaged items included more than two dozen packs of paper testing strips used in at-home pregnancy tests.
They weren’t included in the comprehensive test kits that also come with swabs and bottles of liquid reagents.
Photos received by reporters, however, revealed that two of the numbered lots of card components, enough for roughly 345,000 tests each, still had seven months of shelf life.
While these “were disposed of in accordance with our usual inventory management practise,” Abbott claimed in a different published response to the piece.
Abbott stated that “large numbers of finished test kits were stocked to fulfil expected demand” at the time.
About 300 workers at Abbott’s Westbrook site and another 100 workers at its Scarborough, Maine operation were let go in the month of July.
According to the New York Times, contracts with vendors were also terminated. Additionally, in September of 2020, the firm will cease operations at a facility in Illinois that employed 2,000 people.
As COVID-19 cases continue to grow in the U.S., the article points to decreasing testing capability and trends trending in the opposite direction. Abbott, though, has provided a robust rebuttal to the story’s assertions.