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Philippine Medical Association: Use of rapid antibody tests comes with conditions

/ 06:01 PM June 03, 2020

The Philippine Medical Association (PMA), the country’s biggest group of medical professionals, said the use of antibody rapid test kits for coronavirus should come with at least four conditions, including one that required the test kits to be accepted by the government’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

In a statement on June 2, the PMA sought to elaborate its stand on rapid test kits after its president said at an online press conference that he would recommend the kits to PMA members.

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“The use of rapid antibody test kits should be placed in the right context,” said the PMA statement. It said that this was actually the opening statement of businessman Joey Concepcion, presidential adviser on entrepreneurship, at a recent forum.

Concepcion and PMA president Jose P. Santiago were at a press conference last June 1 announcing their plan to collaborate further despite some tension between them last May.

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“The use of these kits was an initiative designed for private corporations who voluntarily choose to test workers, and does not involve government funds,” the PMA statement said.

It said if companies choose to conduct rapid antibody tests, “then PMA set conditions on its proper use.”

The other conditions, according to PMA, were that the tests must be done by a method called reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, or RT-PCR, which the Department of Health had described as the gold standard of testing.

The tests, PMA added, must also be supervised by a doctor “well-versed in interpreting results and clinical correlation.”

Edited by TSB

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