SA’s Three Largest Private Pathology Groups Agree to Further Reduce Price of COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Tests to R150

The Competition Commission and South Africa’s three largest private pathology groups have agreed to further reduce the price of COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Tests.

PathCare, Lancet and Ampath will charge a maximum of R150 inclusive for the tests.

In a statement, the Competition Commission’s Siyabulela Makunga said the price reduction would remain in effect for a period of two years from the date of confirmation of the agreements.

“The three laboratories have also undertaken to submit to the Commission, a compliance report that will include financial statements every three months, to monitor prices charged for COVID-19 Rapid Antigen tests and any material changes in costs.”

This is a second successive price reduction settlement the Commission has concluded with the three private laboratory groups in less than 14 days after Ampath and Lancet agreed that COVID 19 PCR tests will no longer cost R850 but R500 with immediate effect.

Makunga said the Commission is also currently pursuing an investigation against Dis-Chem.

“In its investigation, the Commission found that one of the biggest retailers, Clicks, at present, does not appear to conduct Rapid Antigen testing, so no investigation against Clicks will be pursued at this stage.”

The Commission received a formal complaint from the Council of Medical Schemes (CMS) against private pathology laboratories alleging that the price for supplying PCR tests for COVID-19 is unfairly inflated and unjustifiable.

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