Chembio Diagnostics Inc. has reduced the price of its HIV tests as the company takes full control of its U.S. sales after using a third party for some time.
The Medford-based manufacturer said its rapid tests for HIV will be sold under the DPP HIV ½, Sure Check HIV ½ and HIV ½ Stat-Pak names to public health clinics and other institutions for $5 per test.
“We streamlined our U.S. distribution channels and we are passing the savings on to public health customers,” CEO John J. Sperzel said Wednesday.
“We believe the $5 price to the public health market represents a reduction of approximately 25 percent compared to the average public-health price” charged by all makers of point-of-care HIV tests, he said. He declined to quantify the size of the price reduction by Chembio.
Sperzel also said in an interview that he hopes the price cut will “increase testing frequency and reduce rates of HIV infection.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there are 50,000 new HIV infections per year in the United States, a number that hasn’t declined despite increased availability of rapid tests. More than 1 million people are living with the disease domestically.
Chembio’s tests use blood or saliva samples. Previously, some were sold by a third party under the Clearview name.
Outside the United States, Chembio sells HIV tests directly to governments and global procurement organizations as well as using distributors, Sperzel said.
Chembio also has point-of-care tests for syphilis, Ebola, malaria and other illnesses. It is developing a test for Zika with Brazilian health groups.
Chembio shares rose 12 cents, or more than 1 percent, to close at $8.71 Wednesday on the Nasdaq Stock Market.