When we are talking about corona virus test pricing , no matter in what country we are live in general conclusion is that some companies and government officials are making money , and not just a money but lots of money .
Maybe nobody have real evidence for some criminal activities but there is some feeling in your gut that tell you that something is really wrong. When we are discussing about COVID-19 and equipment necessary to stop the spread, tests ,masks and hand gloves are the key products that seem everyone on the planet is trying to get, and for every each of them the feeling that something is wrong remaining.
We have made small investigation in order to discover how much COVID-19 test really cost the governments , private health laboratories or institutions and to see if the final price that we are paying real .
Because peoples ask this questions all the time and nobody really answers them.
Because we know that there is now to many different COVID-19 tests and when you confront this peoples with questions about price of the test they say that the quality of the test is the key and the possibility of the test to find the active virus in the patient ,different from rapid tests that just confirm Corona virus antibodies .
So yes there is 2 main group of tests for diagnosing COVID-19 infections ,
The First are “cheaper” and faster variant and public know them as rapid tests, this tests are checking presence of antibodies against COVID-19 in our organism , so if we have the infection our immune system develop antibodies and indirectly if we detect antibodies we can detected presence of COVID-19 ( but not always ). The Problem of antibody detection method is that test can detect antibody even if you are now healthy and you can’t spread the infection, but positive ability of this test is that shows if you have been in contact with COVID-19 and maybe now you have developed immunity.
Because of this health institutions are using the second type of test that can detect presence of active virus in our body that can spread infection.
This test is based on what’s called the polymerase chain reaction, a diagnostic method recommended by the WHO that amplifies the virus’s genetic code so it can be detected even before the onset of symptoms. For this reason the test must be composed of two components “vials” , first is a primer to help detect an infection, and the second is synthetically engineered piece of the virus, which labs use to produce a surefire positive match to ensure their machines are working correctly.
In my country Republic of Macedonia ( Europe ) we use the tests for detection of the active virus as gold standard in order our health institution to be able to confirm that someone is infected with COVID-19, testing are made by a lab technician that take patient’s mucus sample—usually from a throat or nasal swab.
This test is basically free for our citizen but our health insurance fund is paying the labs around 100$ per test, witch raise suspicious in the public right after private hospital allow blood based rapid tests for only 25$.
In order to defend the price of the test government officials defend the price with expenses for employees (employees in our health system are receiving around 400-600$ per month) and reagents that are expensive and imported.
For detecting the real cost of the test with every expense taken in equation from our stand point is difficult but not impossible , i say this because we don’t need precise info, we need just to know how much is the cost of the key element for making the test , which is the “imported” test kit that contains the necessary vials for completing the test.
In our research we find very interesting post published on 12 March by bloomberg.com – “A Berlin Biotech Company Got a Head Start on Coronavirus Tests” here we find out about test kit from respectable German company that is teamed up with the second-largest pharmaceutical company worldwide Roche Holding AG and this test kit from which you can test 100 people cost only 180$ or 1.8$ per patient. If we add on this price transport cost , storage , employees and other reagents maybe we can reach the 100$ per patient.
What do you think?
How is in your country ?