Corona self-tests are in short supply and expensive

Status: 11/24/2021 11:29 am

As at the beginning of the pandemic, corona self-tests for the home are again in short supply – and expensive. It is currently uncertain when the situation will improve. Demand simply exceeds supply.

Whether dm, Rossmann, Rewe or Aldi, the answer is often the same. Anyone who is currently looking for Corona self-tests for at home will hear: “We don’t have any more tests, we don’t know when any will come.” In many cases, they are also no longer available online. A common phrase on retailers’ websites is “This product is currently out of stock.”

A spokesman for the Rossmann drugstore chain confirms that due to the current high level of demand, there may be occasional problems with availability. The drugstore chain dm also reported a similar situation. “At the moment, fluctuating demand and disrupted supply chains may mean that not all products are always sufficiently available,” says Managing Director Sebastian Bayer. The drugstore offers self-tests from three different manufacturers. None of the tests are currently available online. According to the website, however, two of the three different tests were available in stores in all federal states.

Bottlenecks in pharmacies too

There are also regional bottlenecks in pharmacies. “In some regions there are currently delivery bottlenecks for rapid tests, other regions still have no problems,” said a spokeswoman for the German Pharmacists’ Association (DAV). The suppliers for the pharmacies can no longer serve all orders. “We therefore have to struggle with bottlenecks in tests for laypeople and in professional tests for our test centers,” says the North Rhine Pharmacists’ Association.

The DAV spokeswoman could not say in which regions the tests are exactly in short supply. “If the tests run out in a pharmacy, the manager of the pharmacy will endeavor to get supplies as quickly as possible. That is why the availability in the pharmacies can change daily,” she emphasized.

Up to six euros per test

The high demand and the acute shortage of supplies mean that the tests are becoming more expensive again. In fact, gone are the days – like in the summer – when incidences were low and self-tests were like lead on the shelves and sold off by some retailers at one euro apiece. Prices are currently fluctuating enormously. In many cases, however, consumers have to dig deeper into their pockets than before. At Amazon, five-packs are offered at 30 euros, i.e. six euros each.

The unexpectedly rapid increase in corona incidences is cited as the reason for the problems. Many people now want to play it safe before visiting relatives and friends and test themselves beforehand, even if they have long been vaccinated. There is also increased demand for rapid tests from companies, report providers. They would increasingly rely on the 2G Plus model – that is, vaccinated or recovered and additionally tested. In many cases, however, retailers also refer to the further disrupted supply chains, which prevented manufacturers and transport companies from reacting quickly to the changed situation. Above all, however, no one was prepared for the situation to change so quickly, report pharmacists and retailers.

It is still unclear when the situation will improve. “We absolutely do not know when we will get new tests delivered,” says a saleswoman at Aldi. Of the rbb reports that the first wholesalers are expecting an initial easing in early December.

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