From this Saturday all antigen tests sold in Spain’s pharmacies cannot cost more than €2.94, it was announced today.
The antigen or lateral flow home test kits came onto the market here in July and prices between the tests have varied greatly since then, ranging from €5 to €10 per test.
The government has been under pressure from both consumers as well as the health sector to bring prices in line with other European countries. In most European countries prices are low, with the exception of Italy which has similar prices to Spain, while in the UK and the Netherlands the tests are free.
Speaking at a press conference after the Interministerial Medicines Price Commission (CIMP), Spanish Health Minister, Carolina Darias, explained: “The main aim has been to set the most affordable price possible, while keeping a balance so that the product is available through pharmaceutical channels.”
The agreement by the CIMP to set the maximum price at €2.94 was unanimous. It was due to be signed today to come into effect from this Saturday. It will apply to all home test antigen kits sold in pharmacies and authorised by the Spanish Medicines and Sanitary Products Agency (AEMPS).
The price restriction has been welcomed by many in the health industry, including the General Council of Nursing, which had been calling for prices to be brought down, claiming that there were differences between sellers of up to 200%. CGE president, Florentino Pérez Raya said: “Given the situation in which we find ourselves, with a variant, Omicron, whose transmission capacity is astonishing, we cannot allow economic interests to take precedence over health”.
Valencia’s pharamacies to carry out antigen tests and register results
From this Friday Valencia’s pharmacies will begin to test people and notify the health department of any positive cases following an agreement reached between the government and the three provincial professional colleges of pharmacy, it was reported this evening by news agency Europa Press.
Regional Health Minister, Ana Barceló, gave her assurance that there would be no extra cost for members of the public or for pharmacies, and that the health department would compensate pharamacies for any extra cost in validating and registering cases. She also said that the decision to take part in the programme would be completely voluntary.
The programme is aimed at people with covid symptoms and the registering of personal details would only be carried out with the individual’s consent.