CBS News: JANUARY 5, 2022 / 8:03 AM / MONEYWATCH
By Megan Cerullo
Finding a Covid-19 tests right now is like finding a needle in a haystack, but some resourceful individuals have found “at-home Covid-19 test kits” in unusual places. A new telemedicine company that goes by the name of Ro “Roman” has test kits available called “On/Go COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Self Test Kit.” At $30 for two, it is slightly more expensive than other varieties but is available online right now. Go to the Ro website: https://www.getroman.com/on-go-covid-19-antigen-self-test/
Currently every variety of at-home COVID-19 test on CVS Pharmacy and Walgreen’s Pharmacy website and in-store are currently sold out. Abbott's BinaxNow kit, Quidel's QuickVue at-home test kit, Orasure's Inteliswab rapid test kit and FlowFlex's version are all sold out on Walgreens' website, too.
Product availability tracker Nowinstock.net, which does the legwork for consumers, also indicates that nearly every variety of at-home COVID-19 test is sold out across the expansive online retail landscape.
Ro co- founder and CEO Zachariah Reitano said the On/Go test kit was among the company's top three most in-demand products and services over the holiday period. Unlike other health care companies, including pharmacies, it is confident in its ability to keep the tests in stock and serve consumers through peak periods.
Adapting to Change Quickly and Serving a Need
Ro ended the year with 10 distribution centers across the U.S., up from just three earlier in the year, allowing for speedy delivery of the time-sensitive tests.
"We had pharmacists and pharmacy technicians come in over the holidays and work 12-18 hour days to make sure our patients got their COVID tests on time," Reitano added. He doesn't expect to run out of test kits anytime soon, either.
While shipping individual test kits is costly for Ro, which pays for expedited shipping and only profits when it ships tests in bulk, Reitano said the cost is worth it "to make sure people get it as soon as possible."
In the meantime, the test kits have helped Ro acquire plenty of new customers who Reitano hopes will look to the company to fulfill their health needs, too. Ro now has a suite of offerings that extend beyond men's sexual wellness to include fertility services, mental health care and at-home diagnostic testing for men and women.
"We started offering the tests to our members and other people signed up," Reitano said. "Hopefully as we add new products and services they'll look to us and know they're getting affordable prices and we're not looking to take advantage of any moment."