DOH to review price cap for RT-PCR tests
The Department of Health (DOH) is now working to further lower the price cap for RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) tests, according to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.
“We’re working to lower the price … we already lowered it from what it used to be,” said Duque in an interview with ANC on Friday.
In September last year, the DOH lowered the price cap for RT-PCR tests in a bid to make COVID-19 testing cheaper amid the surge in cases.
According to DOH Circular No. 2021-0374 dated Aug. 26, RT-PCR test is priced at P2,800 for plate-based and P2,450 for GeneXpert in public laboratories; P3,360 for plate-based and P2,940 for GeneXpert in private laboratories; and P1,000 for both plate-based and GeneXpert for home services.
Prior to this, the price cap for RT-PCR testing were P5,000 in private laboratories and P3,800 in public laboratories.
Meanwhile, Bayan Muna chair and Makabayan senatorial bet Neri Colmenares said the government should help local manufacturers in producing test kits in order to lower the costs of COVID-19 testing as the country faces an unprecedented spike in new infections.
Colmenares said the cost of getting tested remains “prohibitive” as the average cost of RT-PCR testing in a government facility is P2,570, which is “too steep for ordinary wage earners.”
“The best way to reduce the cost of COVID-19 testing is to empower local manufacturers to develop and produce our own testing kits. With the University of the Philippines already taking the initiative as early as March 2020, the Department of Health and Department of Trade and Industry should step up,” he said.
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