Private laboratories agree to reduce price of Covid-19 rapid test to R150
Three of SA's private pathology laboratories — PathCare, Lancet and Ampath — have agreed to reduce the price of a Covid-19 rapid antigen test to a maximum of R150 for a two-year period.
The consent agreements between the laboratories and the Competition Commission were confirmed as orders by the Competition Tribunal on Thursday.
The laboratories recently concluded consent agreements whereby they agreed to reduce the price of Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests to R500, including VAT.
The commission said on December 13, during its investigation into the pricing of Covid-19 PCR tests, it had received a complaint from a health department official about Covid-19 rapid antigen tests.
The commission said an investigation into rapid antigen tests showed that, at first sight, pathology groups have contravened the Competition Act by charging excessive prices.
“The three laboratories indicated their willingness to immediately reduce the price of rapid antigen tests to no more than R150 (VAT inclusive).”
The laboratories did not admit that they charged excessive or exorbitant prices in contravention of the Competition Act.
“Nothing in the three consent agreements amounts to or should be construed as an admission of any facts, conduct, liability or wrongdoing by PathCare, Lancet or Ampath,” the commission said.
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