On February 11, Aegis Sciences Corporation, a leading healthcare company that provides clinically innovative medication compliance testing and consulting services to providers, and Walgreens announced an expansion of their arrangement for the performance of fast and accurate COVID-19 diagnostic testing as Walgreens further expands COVID-19 drive-thru testing nationwide.
Both of these companies are in the process of substantially increasing their testing services to provide additional testing capacity with best-in-class turnaround times across more than 3,000 Walgreens pharmacy locations in February. In the coming months, additional growth plans are anticipated.
“Aegis Sciences and Walgreens share a common goal: to provide nationwide access to fast and accurate COVID-19 testing. Aegis’s Real Time RT-PCR testing is the diagnostic gold standard with turnaround time of less than 24 hours,” said Dr. Frank Basile, Chief Executive Officer, Aegis Sciences Corporation. “We are excited to continue expanding our relationship over the coming months, offering this needed testing in more Walgreens locations and providing more Walgreens customers access to fast and accurate COVID-19 testing.”
Importance Of COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing
As of February 1, 2021, the United States had performed the third most COVID-19 tests per one million populations among the countries most severely impacted by the pandemic. The U.S. has conducted over 312 million COVID-19 tests in total.
Testing is the key to controlling the virus. The World Health Organization (WHO) sent a clear message to all countries in mid-March: test, test, and test. The more tests that are conducted, the easier it becomes to track the spread of the virus and reduce transmission. Many countries followed the advice, identifying a greater number of cases at an earlier stage, isolating infected individuals, and limiting the spread of the disease to others. However, testing capacity around the world has become stretched, and many infections are going undetected.
No country knows the total number of people infected with COVID-19. All we know is the infection status of those who have been tested. All those who have a lab-confirmed infection are counted as confirmed cases. This means that the counts of confirmed cases depend on how much a country actually tests. Without testing there is no data.
The Expanded Collaboration
“The expanded collaboration between Aegis Sciences and Walgreens further builds on our commitment to improve access to COVID-19 testing in the communities we serve,” said Rick Gates, Senior Vice President, Pharmacy at Walgreens. “With vaccine inventory still very limited, testing remains one of the best defenses against COVID-19 and the opportunity to stop further community spread.”
Since launching COVID-19 testing on April 15, 2020, Aegis has quickly increased testing capacity to meet the needs of communities across the United States. Early last fall, Aegis was selected to participate in the National Institutes of Health Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative and received an NIH grant to expand COVID-19 testing capacity to 60,000 tests per day by September 30, 2020.
Since then, Aegis has further increased capacity and is currently able to perform over 100,000 tests per day within a targeted 24-hour or less turnaround time. In January 2021, Aegis was awarded an additional NIH grant due to the success in rapidly expanding its testing program, while maintaining its industry leading turnaround time.
Since launching COVID-19 testing in April 2020, Aegis has performed over 3 million COVID-19 tests. Aegis is constantly working to expedite its testing results, which typically report in 24 hours or less after receipt in the lab. Aegis is authorized to perform testing and provides all required public health reporting in all 50 states.