Pharmacies limiting take home test purchases amid COVID rapid test shortage

Local News

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Many people are turning to over-the-counter COVID-19 tests for quick results, but pharmacies are seeing limited supply amid a nationwide shortage.

Inside Lagniappe Pharmacy in Gonzales, only eight rapid COVID-19 tests remained stocked on Thursday night.

“If I tried to order more today I couldn’t get more in right now,” said Lagniappe Pharmacy’s owner Dr. Eric Peters, Pharm. D.

He said he believes the nationwide shortage is due to production.

“I think they’re starting to ramp up the production. Like I said, we have eight in stock right now. When they first came out I want to say each of my stores got five and we didn’t get any more for a month,” said Peters.

The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) is recording an increase in people getting tested.

“We need to have people tested in any way that we can,” said LDH’s COVID-19 Statewide Testing Program Manager Diné Butler.

Now schools and businesses are requiring unvaccinated people to get tested frequently and some people taking the rapid route, for faster results.

“Whether it’s for going home to their family members, going back to school or going back to work. People want to know today, now, in the next 20 minutes, do I have COVID,” said Butler.

The White House is now investing one billion dollars in at-home COVID-19 tests, fearing there could be another surge during the winter months.

While the supply is low, over at Lagniappe you won’t be able to get your hands on many.

“We probably would try to ration them out to try to make sure we can accommodate more people. We don’t want anyone to purchase them to kind of, like, stock them, per se. We think at some point they will be more readily available so I wouldn’t want to sell all eight to someone who will sit them at home and not actually use them,” said Peters.

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