New panel to oversee antigen test kit price

New panel to oversee antigen test kit price

The Commerce Ministry is looking at further measures to control the price of Antigen Test Kits (ATK), a source within Commerce Ministry said on Sunday.

A subcommittee, chaired by commerce permanent secretary Boonyarit Kalayanamit, has been set up to regulate distribution and ensure a fair price, as ATKs are now controlled goods under commercial law, said the source.

The measures will be proposed to the Central Committee on the Prices of Goods and Services, chaired by Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit, for consideration.

The source said nine out of 34 ATK brands registered by the Food and Drug Administration have submitted pricing information to the ministry following notification from the Department of Internal Trade.

He disclosed the pricing structures of seven of those brands -- three of which from South Korea, three from China and the one from Switzerland.

Cost, insurance and freight (CIF) prices of these products are between 40.60-221.71 baht apiece excluding import and management fees, he said.

Wholesale prices will be between 160-305.55 baht apiece, so average retail prices are likely to fall in the 219.35-425 baht per set range.

Importers have also told the ministry that market prices are expected to increase due to sharp rises in demand for the goods in several countries.

Average sales prices of ATK sets are between 250-350 baht per unit and the Commerce Ministry and the Public Health Ministry have agreed that they are reasonable, the source said.

However, the prices are expected to fall following the distribution of 8.5 million sets procured by the National Health Security Office (NHSO), assuming the troubled deal proceeds, the source said.

The source added that herbal medicine fah talai jone, also known as green chiretta, is also a controlled good and consumers can check the prices at dit.go.th.

Vendors who sell overpriced products are subject to legal action under Section 29 of the Price of Goods and Services Act 1999.

Under Section 29, a business operator cannot act with the intention to unreasonably suppress the price or unreasonably inflate the price or cause a fluctuation in the price of any goods or services.

The offence carries a maximum jail term of seven years and/or a maximum fine of 140,000 baht.

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