Lawmakers Question Start-Ups On At-Home Kits For Coronavirus Testing


Three companies that rushed to market unauthorized kits for at-home coronavirus testing face new questions from lawmakers in Washington.

On Wednesday, two House Democrats, Representatives Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois and Katie Porter of California sent letters to the chief executives of Carbon Health, EverlyWell, and Nurx, asking them to explain their business and testing practices.

The companies had marketed kits designed to allow consumers to collect their own saliva, throat swabs or deep nasal swabs at home and send the samples to labs to be tested for the virus.

But the lawmakers noted in the letters that the Food and Drug Administration had not authorized any at-home specimen collection kits for coronavirus testing because “their accuracy has yet to be clearly determined.”

The House members also asked the executives, who suspended marketing the kits to the public over the weekend, what their companies intended to do with any money consumers had paid for the kits and testing.

“Do you intend to refund all consumers all amounts they paid for at-home coronavirus test kits, and if so, when and how you will you do so?” they wrote in the letters. They also asked what the companies intended to do with any biological specimens that users had sent in for testing.

The rush to sell at-home kits coincided with a push by the White House to promote rapid innovation in coronavirus testing by relaxing federal health regulations. But the F.D.A. warned last week that it had not authorized any tests for purchase by consumers that involved people collecting their own specimens at home and shipping them to labs for testing.


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