FDA clears over 100 test-kit products
The Philippine Food and Drug Administration has approved 104 test-kit products for coronavirus disease 2019 diagnosis as of May 22.
In an advisory, FDA said it approved four PCR-based and seven antibody rapid test-kit products.
Based on the list issued by the agency, 59 of the registered products are for rapid testing while 45 are for PCR-based testing.
Most of test kits were manufactured by China with at least 45 out of the 104 approved products. The rest came from Singapore, USA, Germany, Ireland, Italy, France, South Korea, Australia, Turkey, UK, Spain, and Luxembourg.
Only one product was approved from the Philippines, which was manufactured by Marikina City-based Manila HealthTek, Inc.
Last Friday, President Rodrigo Duterte called for an investigation on the alleged overpriced COVID-19 test kits purchased by the Department of Health (DOH).
His spokesperson Harry Roque said the president expressed concern over reports of potential overpricing.
Senator Franklin Drilon earlier urged the DOH to look into the testing package of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).
He said PhilHealth shoulders the cost for P8,150 per test. He argued that the private sector, including the Philippine Red Cross, can do the same test for only P4,000.
PhilHealth president and chief executive officer Ricardo Morales explained that the P8,150 price was only for test kits that were acquired in March when there was limited supply.
Morales assured the public that PhilHealth will come up with an updated benefit package rate for COVID-19 patients this week.
The government plans to test up to 2% of the country’s population to determine the extent of the virus outbreak in the Philippines.
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