Want a Covid Test With Your Viagra?

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    Mr. Hoffman hasn’t bought anything else from the site, but he is open to it for the first time. “If I needed a refill on a medicine, and they had a very good price, I guess I can see using their pharmacy,” he said. “I would also be open to other kinds of tests, like if they sold strep tests or anything like that.”

    He added that this experience made him respect the company. “It gave them legitimacy that they were selling real Covid-19 products at a decent price and could deliver them on time,” he said.

    About the actual tests: Ro sells the On/Go brand of Covid-19 tests and charges $30 for a pack of two. That is more expensive than other products elsewhere tend to be. The BinaxNOW Covid-19 Antigen Self Test, for example, sells for $24 for two at most pharmacies. The company insists it has to charge that much. “We don’t make a profit when someone buys a single test because of the cost of the test as well as the free two-day shipping,” said Mr. Reitano.

    Ms. Chamberlain said buying Covid-19 tests didn’t completely change her image of the company. “In my head Roman is still more for men,” she said. But she looks favorably upon the company because they could get her tests when CVS and Walgreens couldn’t. “I feel like they were definitely smart to have them because there is a huge demand,” she said.

    Ro said it’s been working since January 2021 to make sure it has Covid tests in stock, because that’s when customers started asking for them. It hasn’t been a seamless process. (One of its early partners, for example, hasn’t yet gotten approval from the Food and Drug Administration for its tests.) “We’ve continued to invest even as cases have risen and fallen,” said Mr. Reitano. “We continued our investment knowing if there is a rise in cases, if there are additional variants, we are prepared, we have enough in stock.”

    For example, at the beginning of the year, Ro had three pharmacy distribution centers across the country. Now it has 10, so it can deliver products quickly. Only time will tell if the company will be able to keep up with demand for its Covid-19 tests as other companies struggle.

    But for now it’s clear that it has a trendy product that people are happy to talk about. Eric Goldie, 31, who works in New York City real estate full time but is also a social media influencer, has been hired by Roman for digital campaigns. He said when he first heard that Roman was selling at-home Covid tests, he called the social media agency that Roman works with and asked to be part of selling the product.

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