Experts explain why expired at-home COVID tests are still usable
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Experts say the demand for at-home COVID tests remains high, but some of the tests arriving at homes in the Madison area are showing up very near or already passed their expiration dates. Experts say the tests are still fine to use, despite the date on the box.
“If the expiration date on your self-test has passed, these tests are not expired as the food and drug administration has extended these dates by up to 12 months,” said Wisconsin Department of Health Services Dr. Ryan Westergaard, the Chief Medical Officer for the department’s Bureau of Communicable Diseases. “So, if your tests have an expiration date of July through November 2022, know that your tests are still reliable and good to use for an additional six months; many brands of self-tests had expiration dates that have safely been extended.”
Owner of Forward Pharmacy Matt Mabie says it is typical for the expiration date to start in a more conservative range for newly released products.
“Part of the issue was when they made them, they didn’t know the stability, and we even go through that with drugs, where they will put a really short expiration date on products that are really new because they just don’t know how long it’s going to last,” said Mabie. “Through testing, later on, they’ll find out it lasts longer, so they’ll extend the dates; the same thing happens with vaccines.”
Mabie says the demand for at-home tests remains high, as people use the tests for travel, ahead of a family trip, or to rule to COVID when cold-like symptoms arise. He says now, however, supply has seemed to catch up with demand.
Mabie says tests can be found at pharmacies or grocery stores in the area, with pharmacies billing insurance for the tests. Free tests are also available through DHS on the Say Yes! To COVID Test website.
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