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Roche Diagnostics receives emergency approval for new COVID-19 test

Posted at 9:53 PM, Mar 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-16 14:41:47-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Roche Diagnostics has received emergency approval for a new coronavirus test it developed.

The company received emergency approval late Thursday night from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to send half a million tests to labs across the country from its North America headquarters in Indianapolis.

"For us, it’s been all about how do we make sure the patients who need to test, get the test at the time they need it,” Randy Pritchard, senior vice president of marketing for Roche, said.

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In six weeks, the company was able to develop the test when it normally takes about 18-months to identify a virus and submit something to the FDA, Pritchard said.

With the new test, you can have results as fast as three days as opposed to days with some current tests.

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IU Health has plans in place to deal with an influx of patients, but does not currently have plans to make any facilities coronavirus specific centers. IU Health has launched a virtual clinic to offer screenings on its mobile app.

Within the next few days, Eskenazi Hospital anticipates on having a centralized community-based testing center available.

If you have symptoms or are concerned you may have COVID-19, you are encouraged to use a virtual clinic or call your doctor before heading to an emergency department.