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HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra on Withdrawal of HHS Policy on Laboratory-Developed Tests

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration are committed to helping ensure that COVID-19 tests are accurate, reliable, and available. Today, as part of that commitment, HHS is withdrawing a policy established during the previous administration that limited FDA’s ability to address certain problematic COVID-19 tests.

The policy, first announced on August 19, 2020, related specifically to “laboratory developed tests” (LDTs). An LDT is a type of test that is generally designed, manufactured, and used in a single laboratory. The policy directed FDA not to require premarket review for LDTs, including premarket approval (PMA) or clearance (510(k)), and emergency use authorization (EUA), even in situations where they have poor performance.

By withdrawing the policy, HHS is helping to ensure that COVID-19 tests work as intended. Effective today, HHS no longer has a policy on LDTs that is separate from FDA’s longstanding approach in this area.  

Today, FDA also updated its policies for COVID-19 tests, including COVID-19 LDTs. These policies take into account the importance of test availability, reliability, and accuracy.