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COVID-19

Lowering of self-test kit price should take into account interests of all parties

21/09/2021 02:33 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 21 -- The proposal to lower the ceiling price of the COVID-19 self-test kit must be studied by taking into account the interests of all parties and cannot be done in haste, the Dewan Rakyat was told.

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi said the implementation of the proposal must be able to create a win-win situation between the consumers, manufacturers and traders.

“The KPDNHEP will continue to hold engagement sessions with the Ministry of Health (MOH), taking into account the views of all stakeholders, as well as the production and import costs, before the decision to lower the price (of self-test kits) is made,” he said during the Minister's Question Time today.

Nanta was answering a question from Cha Kee Chin (PH-Rasah) who wanted to know whether the ministry will further lower the ceiling price of the COVID-19 self-test kit which is currently set at RM19.90 to enable more people to afford it, especially the B40.

Cha further suggested that the ceiling price of the test kit be reduced in stages from RM15 to RM5.

In reply to Cha's supplementary question on setting a ceiling price for other products such as the “spray guns” (for sanitation), pulse oximeters and air purifiers which are now widely used by the people, Nanta said the proposal would also be scrutinised.

Earlier last month, KPDNHEP set the maximum retail price for a set of COVID-19 self-test kit at RM19.90, while the wholesale price was set at RM16 effective Sept 5.

Meanwhile, Nanta said so far there were 16 brands of self-test kits that had been approved by the Medical Device Authority (MDA) and it would be added from time to time to create price competitiveness in the market, and prices could be lowered.

Nanta also said that KPDNHEP always carries out enforcement to ensure that traders and manufacturers comply with the set ceiling prices.

He added that from Sept 5 to 20, a total of 2,261 premises were inspected involving 123 wholesalers and 2,138 retailers, and 10 traders who sold the kits above the set ceiling price were issued warnings.

-- BERNAMA


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