PUTRAJAYA, Sept 3 — The setting of the maximum price of RM19.90 for Covid-19 rapid antigen kit (self-test) which comes into effect on Sunday was properly planned within a reasonable period to ensure the kit is available at an affordable price to consumers.
Among the efforts taken was holding an engagement session between the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) with related industries, government agencies such as Health Ministry and the Customs Department, as well as pharmacy operators and association.
“The engagement session was also held with manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers to obtain accurate information on the supply and sales of the device,” said Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi in a statement today.
In this regard, Nanta said it was not true that the maximum price for the test kit was hastily set.
He said even though the content of the discussion did not touch specifically on setting the control price, all industry players involved were aware the purpose of discussion was to obtain information on the pricing mechanism and supply.
He said the decision was taken as the government is aware of the importance of the gadget as a requirement to monitor infection and spread of Covid-19 in the country.
“I would appreciate if the Pharmaceutical Association of Malaysia is more rational and realistic with the current situation…this self-testing device is a sensitive item in terms of price and supply during the pandemic.
Nanta’s statement was to clarify several matters following a statement issued by the Malaysian Pharmaceutical Association yesterday relating to the announcement of the maximum retail and wholesale pricing of Covid-19 antigen rapid test kits under the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011 (AKHAP 2011).
Nanta said KPDNHEP also obtained further information on the selling price of products, costs involved in production and importation and the results of the analysis made on the information received from the companies involved had provided a reasonable basis for determining the maximum price set under AKHAP 2011.
“The determination of the maximum price was made by taking into account that traders can still make a profit at the wholesale and retail levels,” he said.
Nanta said KPDNHEP would allow a week for traders and all parties involved to make price adjustments. — Bernama