Under interim order, Health Canada authorized BD’s rapid, point-of-care SARS-CoV-2 antigen test for use with the BD Veritor Plus system. The order for 7.6 million tests runs through March 2021 in an effort to support Canada’s planning for an advanced COVID-19 testing strategy, according to a news release.
“The Government of Canada continues to work diligently to provide Canadians with access to effective and efficient COVID-19 testing solutions,” Canada Minister of Public Services and Procurement Anita Anand said in the release. “This new agreement with BD is critical to assisting the provinces and territories in their respective efforts to reduce the spread of the virus. We will continue to support Canadians through the COVID-19 pandemic.”
BD touts its test as capable of delivering results in approximately 15 minutes at the point-of-care. Health Canada authorized the test in early October, while it has been available in the U.S. under emergency use authorization (EUA) since July.
“As the demands for SARS-CoV-2 testing are increasing in Canada, we are excited to bring another testing solution to the Canadian market,” BD Canada president Greg Miziolek said in the release. “The ability to perform SARS-CoV-2 testing at the point-of-care and deliver results while the patient waits will be truly impactful to help relieve some of the pressures on the testing labs and quickly identify affected patients. We applaud the federal government for their proactive approach in planning for future needs with a centralized order for antigen detection tests.
“We look forward to partnering with Canada’s provincial health authorities to optimize the deployment of the BD Veritor Plus System to meet regional and local public health needs.”
The test has come under scrutiny for its use in the U.S., with reports of false-positive results in September, followed by further reports earlier this week claiming that BD’s antigen test was among those distributed to nursing homes but going unused due to fears over accuracy.
A BD spokesperson told MassDevice that the September reports did not reflect the proven accuracy of BD’s tests on the Veritor Plus system in clinical trials, while the company told The Wall Street Journal earlier this week that testing plays an “essential role” in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and that it has continued to receive regular reorders of its tests from nursing homes.