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The government is currently studying the plans to reassess the price range for reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test kits for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), testing czar Secretary Vince Dizon said in a report by Philippine News Agency.

This, after concerns were raised that some laboratories and hospitals are turning RT-PCR testing into a private business.

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At the Laging Handa briefing, Dizon, also the presidential adviser for Covid-19 response, said there should be a "balanced decision" when it comes to adjusting the prices of RT-PCR Covid-19 tests.

"Pinag-aaralan po iyan ngayon, pero kailangan intindihin din po natin mayroon din pong cost ang ating mga laboratoryo na kailangan nating balansehin. Hindi po madali ang [RT-PCR] test (That is being studied, but we need to understand that our laboratories have cost so we need to balance it. RT-PCR test is not easy)," he said.

Dizon said every laboratory has to maintain personnel requirements such as medical technologists, and swabbers, including supplies and maintenance of the machines.

"So, kailangan pong balansehin natin iyan kasi hindi naman po pupuwedeng malugi naman po ang mga laboratory. Pero definitely po hindi pupuwedeng mag-charge nang mas mataas sa nakatakdang price cap (So we need to balance because our laboratories can't go bankrupt. But definitely, no one can charge higher than the fixed price cap)," he said.

As of September 2021, price caps for RT-PCR tests were set by the DOH at PHP2,800 for plate-based and PHP2,450 for GeneXpert in public laboratories; and PHP3,360 for plate-based and PHP2,940 for GeneXpert in private laboratories.


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