Covid 19: SA's 3 Major Pathology Groups Agree to Lower Rapid Tests to R150 or Less

Covid 19: SA's 3 Major Pathology Groups Agree to Lower Rapid Tests to R150 or Less

  • South Africa's three major pathology groups and the Competition Commission have reached a landmark agreement
  • Pathcare, Lancet Laboratories and Ampath Laboratories have all agreed to reduce the price of Covid-19 rapid antigen tests
  • The price changes will come into effect immediately and reportedly remain in place for the next two years

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JOHANNESBURG - Private pathology groups Pathcare, Lancet Laboratories and Ampath Laboratories, and the Competition Commission have reached a landmark agreement that will see the price of Covid-19 rapid antigen tests drop from R350 to R150 or less.

The move to have the prices lowered follows a Department of Health complaint against service providers delivering Covid-19 rapid antigen tests in South Africa. News24 reported that healthcare sector stakeholders have also moved to reduce the pricing of Covid-19 PCR tests to R500.

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South Africa, Pathology groups, Competition Commission,
Pathcare, Lancet Laboratories, Ampath Laboratories, Price reduction, Covid 19, Rapid antigen test, PCR
The Competition Commission has ruled for the lowered prices of rapid antigen tests. Image: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

The new pricing, which is inclusive of value-added tax (VAT), will come into effect immediately and remain in place for the next two years. An official at the Commission, Tembinkosi Bonakele, in a statement on Thursday, hailed the development as a victory for citizens.

He said the lowered costs of the tests will help lessen the financial burden on ordinary people while making it more accessible to a greater majority.

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More accessible to poorer people

"It is another major win for the country, more so for economically challenged groups. The reduction in prices will help alleviate the plight of consumers and widen accessibility and affordability of testing, which is important in ensuring the de-escalation of the pandemic," Bonakele said.
"The Commission will continue with its investigation on supply and delivery of Covid-19 rapid antigen tests. We will not hesitate to apply for maximum administrative penalties against companies found guilty of exploiting consumers and customers."

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eNCA reported that the Commission will monitor prices by having the three laboratories, which have already undertaken to submit financial statements, make submissions every three months.

SA shares views on J&J booster shot approval

Elsewhere, Briefly News recently reported that the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) has given the Johnson & Johnson booster shot the go-ahead to be administered in South Africa.

People who are 18 years and older will be eligible to receive the booster shot and it can only be administered two months after receiving the J&J Covid-19 vaccine, according to News24.

Sahpra said the efficacy and the safety data compiled on the booster shot were reviewed by the regulatory body and determined it was safe for use. This decision comes after a trial was conducted primarily on healthcare workers as part of the Sisonke trial.

Source: Briefly News

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