– All 16 Walgreens locations in the city of Philadelphia will provide the rapid BinaxNOW™ COVID-19 Antigen Self Test at no cost to customers who present a Pennsylvania EBT ACCESS Card, starting June 7 and running through July 4
– First-of-its-kind pilot program aims to increase consumer access to rapid testing
– BinaxNOW is the most studied and widely available rapid antigen test in the U.S. and has been available nationwide for over-the-counter (OTC), non-prescription purchase at Walgreens since mid-April
ABBOTT PARK and DEERFIELD, Ill., June 7, 2021 — Abbott and Walgreens announced today a pilot program to increase access to rapid testing for Pennsylvania Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cardholders in the city of Philadelphia.
Beginning today, each Philadelphia resident with a Pennsylvania EBT* ACCESS card will be able to receive Abbott’s BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self Tests weekly at no cost. Customers will be able to visit the Walgreens pharmacy counter at 16 Walgreens locations within Philadelphia’s city limits to receive their tests. The program will span through the July 4 holiday, a time when families, friends and communities gather in large settings.
Each EBT cardholder can receive two, two-count test packs per family member per week, up to five people per household. This means that an EBT cardholder with a spouse and three dependents can receive ten packs (20 tests in total) per week, so that each family member can test themselves twice over three days with at least 36 hours between tests. This meets serial testing requirements for over-the-counter (OTC) testing established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
This pilot program is designed to increase understanding on how to make testing more accessible to underserved and vulnerable communities. By addressing health disparities and expanding access to testing, we can have a greater impact on tamping down community outbreaks of COVID-19.
“We have made enormous strides with COVID-19 testing over the past year and today rapid self testing is broadly available,” said Andrea Wainer, executive vice president, Rapid and Molecular Diagnostics, Abbott. “Through this pilot, we hope to take learnings and share them with governments and health authorities to ensure that more people have access to rapid testing so we can return to the daily interactions we’ve missed.”
“Walgreens remains diligent in advocating for increased access to COVID-19 testing. We continue to listen to the needs of our communities and this tailored pilot program aims to increase access for our customers and patients in the fight against COVID-19,” said Mike Umbleby, divisional vice president, clinical performance at Walgreens. “We want people to have peace of mind and comfort as they make decisions on how to resume activities while we make our way through the pandemic. We’re proud to test this pilot in the city of Philadelphia, as well as continuing to offer a suite of services like free drive-thru testing at 6,000 locations and expanded OTC testing options for people who are asymptomatic and unable to make an appointment or need a quick result from home.”
Abbott and Walgreens will analyze logistical and operational components involved with the 30-day pilot. Upon completion, the two companies will share learnings with local, state and federal government officials, as well as with interested non-governmental and community organizations with an interest in increasing access to testing for the underserved. The U.S. government is not involved in this program and public funds are not being used to subsidize the cost of the tests. Additionally, EBT cards will only serve as a visual verification of eligibility – no personal information will be recorded.