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New partnership combines positive COVID-19 cases with antivirals - for a price

New partnership combines positive COVID-19 cases with antivirals - for a price

Home molecular COVID-19 testing company Detect is partnering with healthcare provider Carbon Health to provide customers who test positive easy access to antiviral treatment, the companies announced today.

The "Test to Treat at Home" program runs directly through the Detect app, which connects people who test positive for COVID-19, with Carbon Health. Then, they can set up an appointment to meet virtual or in person, depending on their location. At that appointment, a provider can prescribe an antiviral like Paxlovid, and patients can take the drug on the same day -- a time-saver for a drug that has to be taken within five days of symptom onset.

The program is modeled on the Biden administration's Test to Treat program, which lets people receive COVID-19 testing and antiviral drugs at qualified health centers, pharmacies and long-term care facilities nationwide.

But, unlike the federal program, which is free, the Detect and Carbon Health partnership comes at a cost—one that could prevent it from being widely accessible. A Detect Hub and a test cost $85, and each subsequent test costs an additional $49. Carbon health visits are covered by many insurance companies, but, for the uninsured, virtual visits can be as high as $69 and personal visits can be as high as $195.

Still, the model could be a way to connect more people with antivirals. Even though the supply of drugs like Paxlovid is increasing in the United States, they are not being used as widely as they could be. Some people who may qualify for the drug based on risk factors are still struggling to access prescriptions, and the increased use of home tests means people can test positive without contact with a health provider. can. Huh.

"The home tests are here, the antiviral supplies are here," Hugo Barra, chief executive officer of Detect, told The New York Times. "Now all we have to do is connect the dots."

Creating more efficient systems to encourage testing and connect people with available care are important tools to reduce the health burden of the pandemic, which is still ongoing. Cases of COVID-19 are on the rise in the US as infectious and immune-developed versions of the Omicron version run through the country.

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