The Department of Commerce and Industry is supposed to lower suggested retail prices (SRP) for COVID testing even as it has warned that the sale of unregistered test kits online and in physical stores is illegal.
Commerce and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said this amid reports of high cost of testing and a shortage of COVID test kits, which are also sold at high prices. , as COVID cases in Metro Manila continue to rise exponentially.
Under the current SRP, RT-PCR testing in public facilities costs P 2,450 and P 2,940 per test in private facilities, while antigen testing costs P 960.
âWe’re going to revisit that to lower,â Lopez said. Additionally, Lopez said DTI will also offer an SRP for antigen test kits only, as RT-PCR requires lab processes.
Lopez said the new SRPs for testing as well as the antigen testing kits are expected to be released on Friday.
Meanwhile, DTI Assistant Secretary Ann Claire Cabochan told Laging Handa’s public briefing in Malacanang that they are working closely with the Department of Health to monitor and track online vendors and even stores. stores that sell RT-PCR and Antigen test kits that are not approved by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA). Cabochan said that without the FDA-approved product registration certificate, the sale of these test kits is not permitted.
She clarified that only test kits already approved by the FTA which are listed among the drugs with SRP issued in August 2021 are authorized.
Likewise, she warned that if those approved COVID test kits are sold on top of the SRP, vendors and vendors will also face fees.
The DTI made the clarifications amid reports of a limited supply of COVID test kits, which are also being sold at exorbitant prices.
On paracetamol supply, Cabochan said the supply should have normalized over the weekend as manufacturers have already started restocking since Jan.5.
She reiterated that there is no production capacity, just a problem of “out of stock” due to an unprecedented increase in demand in December.
In the meantime, she said if the current alert level were raised further, amid the increase in COVID cases in the NCR, there would be more establishments whose operations would be affected and more people unemployed. .
For the two weeks, January 3-15, Alert Level 3, the DTI estimated up to 200,000 jobless workers in the National Capital Region and an economic loss of 200 million pesos.
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