According to the state data, A quarter of California’s COVID tests is processed by the Menlo Park-based company which is the largest amount in comparison to any other lab across the whole state.
A high-quality Covid test will cost around $10/ PCR test by SummerBio, this test is licensed by Columbia University. According to state records, the company’s turnover time is one of the fastest turnover times. And the reason behind this is the lowest price for the test till now. A report says that 96% of PCR samples were treated in between 24 hours of receipt in the first two weeks of October in the lab.
So far, the records collected by the ABC7 News I-Team indicate that the company with whom the state signed the contract PerkinElmer is charging 5X which is around $53 per test. Throughout the same time period, only 33% of PCR tests were prepared in one day says the state data.
The California Department of Public Health the state was questioned by The ABC7 News I-Team that if they’ve been exploring other companies to show more fair results.
We have received the following statement:
“The State is constantly evaluating the testing needs and capacity across the state. Our testing program includes various modalities and includes a wide network of collection sites where testing is most needed and has struggled to take hold in the past.”
Still, with a notice of 30days the state contract allows CDPh to cancel their contract if there will be the availability of the better or equal test at a lower cost. But then the state-approved PerkinElmer’s agreement which is worth more than $1.7B degradations is fixed on Sunday.
Probably, COVID testing can get expensive. For example, Medicare will compensate up to $100/COVID symptomatic test if it’s turned around within 24 hours, according to the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services.
“There’s no reason why a PCR test should cost $100,” said Dr. Dave Chernoff, (a 25-year veteran of the molecular diagnostics and biopharmaceutical industry). He currently serves as Chief Medical Officer for SummerBio. “Because of all the robotics and automation, we’re able to do it at a price point that’s equal to or less than what you would pay for an antigen test.”
According to public data “If CDPH contracted with a company charging $10 per test like SummerBio, the state would have saved hundreds of millions of dollars over the past 14 months,”.
PerkinElmer was contacted numerous times by The ABC7 News I-Team for more comments but got no answer.