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January 4, 2022

Australian regulator to review Covid-19 antigen test prices

The regulator will analyse information received from retailers, suppliers and the public.

By Hasini Devarasetti

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced a review of Covid-19 rapid antigen test prices and is contacting suppliers to check price levels in the market.

Major retailers and pharmacies are being contacted for the same information.

The information received from retailers, suppliers and the public will be analysed by the ACCC to determine any possible misconduct.

The ACCC is seeking information regarding the current pricing, as well as costs, of rapid antigen tests for Covid-19.

It is also investigating the amounts on order, current stock levels and expectations of when additional tests will be available to consumers.

Additionally, it will examine claims that the existing pricing levels of antigen tests are due to challenges in securing them.

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ACCC chair Rod Sims said: “We’ve also had over 100 consumer contacts to our Infocentre or through the online form. We will review the information received and investigate the evidence to determine if there is conduct that raises concerns.

“The ACCC is monitoring the situation and will take appropriate action under its existing powers. The ACCC has not sought, and does not need, more powers to deal with the current situation.”

The regulator further added that businesses should not collude on the pricing of tests or make any false claims to consumers about higher prices.

Last August, the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved SpeeDx’s PlexPCR SARS-CoV-2 test.

With scalable 96-well or 384-well capacity, the single-well, two-gene test targets two conserved regions, RdRp and ORF1ab, of the SARS-CoV-2 genome.

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