Covid test kit purchase postponed over quality concerns

Covid test kit purchase postponed over quality concerns

A Covid-19 antigen test kit
A Covid-19 antigen test kit

The Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) has postponed its procurement of 8.5 million antigen test kits, each costing 70 baht, to test their quality after their ability to detect Covid-19 infections was cast into doubt.

Dr Kiatiphum Wongrajit, permanent secretary for health and GPO chairman, said on Thursday that an organisation had voiced its concern about the quality of the chosen devices in the media. Therefore, the GPO and the Food and Drug Administration would thoroughly check their quality first, he said.

Dr Kiatiphum said Rajavithi Hospital had asked the GPO to urgently procure 8.5 million antigen test kits to enable it to conduct initial Covid-19 tests. The hospital and the National Health Security Office set the required specifications of the test kits.

The GPO had selected a supplier certified by the FDA, he said, but had yet to sign a contract for the procurement. The unit price of the test kits was set at 70 baht including value-added tax.

The postponement came after the Rural Doctors Society's statement on Thursday that the GPO had based the selection on price, not on the quality and accuracy of the test kits.

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