News from the FDA/CDC

FDA authorizes first COVID-19 test kit with home collection option


The Food and Drug Administration has authorized the first diagnostic test with a home collection option for COVID-19, a reissue of the emergency use authorization allowing for testing of samples self-collected by patients at home with the Pixel by LabCorp COVID-19 RT-PCR Test.

FDA icon Wikimedia Commons/FitzColinGerald/ Creative Commons License

The reissued authorization allows for testing of a sample taken from the nose by way of a self-collection kit that contains nasal swabs and saline, according to the FDA press release. After self-swabbing, users should send the samples in an insulated package to a LabCorp laboratory for testing. LabCorp intends to make the Pixel test available to consumers in most states, accessible through doctors’ orders.

The Pixel test includes a specific Q-tip–style cotton swab for patients to use to collect their samples, the FDA noted. Because of concerns with sterility and cross-reactivity caused by inherent genetic material in cotton swabs, generic cotton swabs should not be used as a substitute. The FDA will work with test developers to determine if generic cotton swabs can be used safely and effectively with other tests.

“Throughout this pandemic we have been facilitating test development to ensure patients’ access to accurate diagnostics, which includes supporting the development of reliable and accurate at-home sample collection options. ... [The FDA] worked with LabCorp to ensure the data demonstrated from at-home patient sample collection is as safe and accurate as sample collection at a doctor’s office, hospital, or other testing site. With this action, there is now a convenient and reliable option for patient sample collection from the comfort and safety of their home,” FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, MD, said in the press release.

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