UPDATED on Thursday 13 January – Spain is fixing a maximum retail price of €2.94 for the sale of antigen tests in pharmacies. The measure will come into effect as soon as it is published in the Boletín Official del Estado (BOE), expected to be on Saturday.
Earlier full report below:
The Spanish government is to regulate the price of antigen tests following the huge demand for these test kits during the Christmas and New Year period, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said on Monday during a radio interview with Cadena SER. ALSO READ: Pedro Sánchez calls for EU debate to consider treating Covid as ‘endemic illness’.
‘The debate before and during Christmas was in regards to the exceptional demand,’ said Sánchez. Once the issue has been solved, he added the government will ‘focus on regulating these tests prices’.
Up to now, the prices of antigen tests in Spain have been decided by pharmacies themselves, with the tests have been available since July 2021 at these establishments. However, there have been concerns raised as other European countries have different protocols regarding the pricing, with some countries making them free.
In France, tests are sold in pharmacies and in supermarkets with no profit for the sellers. In other countries, such as in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, rapid tests are available for free, whereas in Italy the tests have a similar price to Spain.
Spain will also be buying up to 344,000 doses of Pfizer’s Antiviral Pill for Covid, Sánchez announced.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has advised that this treatment can be used for adults with Covid-19 who ‘do not require supplemental oxygen and who are at increased risk of progressing to severe disease’.
The pill has to be administered as soon as possible after a diagnosis of Covid-19 and within five days of the start of symptoms. Sánchez said that the antiviral pill ‘reduces hospitalisation risk by 88%’.
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