Malaysians may expect a price cut for the COVID-19 self-test kits earlier than the expected date in December as Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Datuk Rosol Wahid said the government is now considering a new controlled price.
According to Rosol, discussions on the price cut involving various stakeholders were underway. He explained that the discussions were raised because the opening of economic, tourism and education sectors in stages, as well as the relaxations of the standard operating procedures (SOPs), would make the COVID-19 self-test kit an essential item. It would become a part of the new normal as more individuals would need it soon.
In a statement today, he said the government is always concerned with ensuring that consumers can get the kit at a better price and the business continuity of the industry players.
On the current price enforcement which took effect on 5th September, Rosol said of the 3,106 premises checked, 348 of them were found selling the kits below the price set, while 2,554 sold it at prices set by the government.
“The ministry welcomes the initiative taken by the industry players in helping to reduce the burden of the people by offering the kits at a lower price,” he said.
Starting October, the COVID-19 self-test kits would be more accessible to consumers. The minister said the kits would be available not only at pharmacies and clinics but also at other types of premises such as supermarkets and convenience shops.
However, the ministry must first ensure that the premises have sufficient information on the conditions for the sale of the kits. The conditions include complying with the product labelling requirements and handling methods to facilitate the public in getting the items
In early September, the government has set the ceiling price of the COVID-19 self-test kits to RM19.90 for retail and RM16 for wholesale, which is around half of the original price.
For now, how much reduction will be made for the upcoming price control is not revealed.
(Source: Malay Mail)