At-Home Molecular Tests Are Back

I didn’t notice this when it happened, but it looks like Lucira’s at-home molecular covid tests are back in stock under Pfizer, who acquired Lucira in bankruptcy. Notably the new ones also test for the flu. These were approved by the FDA just as Lucira declared bankruptcy – really poor timing for Lucira.

They seem to be priced somewhat more cheaply as well at $50 vs $75 (though not more cheaply than when they were being liquidated and I got a bunch for $23).

It might be worth acquiring one for the respiratory virus season, if you can afford it, particularly if you’re high risk and might want antivirals if you get sick. It can be pretty challenging to get prescribed flu antivirals because they have to be initiated within 48 hours of symptoms starting. That means getting a test administered and picking up a prescription within that window! This is currently the only at-home flu test on the market in the US. They’re somewhat more accurate than antigen tests for covid, closer to a PCR test.

I was fortunate a year ago, when I got the flu, to have a responsive PCP who had me in for a flu test same day. I ended up opting against antivirals, but I was glad to have the option. (I’m not 100% sure if a doctor can/would prescribe flu antivirals on the basis of an at home test—maybe someone else knowledgeable can let me know.)