Pharmacists said demand has gone down in the past week since people can order free tests online, but they’re still working to keep them in stock.
Pharmacists at Freeland Brown say they’re constantly putting orders in for masks and at-home COVID-19 tests each week, but they say as soon as the order comes in, they’re selling out.
Freeland Brown Pharmacist Dr. Juan Olvera says he’s been spending a lot of time in the past month working to track down at-home COVID-19 tests and N-95 masks.
He said they’re hard to come by.
“We’ll get in 300 tests and sell out in two days and then I’ll turn around and then the people I bought them from in the first place are sold out,” said Dr. Olvera.
And the phone calls asking for masks and tests, don’t stop.
“People call and ask if we have tests and when we say yes they are almost expecting a no so when we say yes their voice lights up and they’re like I’ll be there in a minute,” said Dr. Olvera.
Olvera says in order to keep these tests in stock, they’re paying a higher premium, which means a higher price tag at the store.
A box with two tests inside is now selling for about 46-dollars, compared to 30 when they first came out.
“We’re not really making much money on these tests, it’s more of a service to the community to have them in stock,” said Dr. Olvera.
Olvera says nebulizers for breathing treatments have also been flying off the shelves.
“Two weekends ago we were just selling them out the door at a rate that I had not seen before,” said Dr. Olvera.
To help slow the spread, the Biden Administration just released each U-S household can order four rapid, at-home COVID-19 tests and they also plan to give out free N-95 masks.
Dr. Olvera said they’ve been getting a lot of calls about the masks.
He says since they’re independently owned, they aren’t on the list to get them right now but could be soon.
“We’re not too far behind these bigger stores,” said Dr. Olvera.
Olvera says because people are able to order tests online now through CovidTests.gov, they’ve seen fewer people come the past few days, so he believes the prices will come down soon.
“Demand was quite high from the week before Christmas to about this week and it seems like demand is starting to come down,” said Dr. Olvera. “The big staples with COVID are coming back into supply so we are able to start decreasing our prices as prices come down.”
A few local pharmacies like Freeland Brown have told me they’re keeping a running list of people who want tests, and then letting them know when they get those tests in stock.