The Spanish government on Thursday set the price of Covid-19 self-diagnosis antigen tests at 2.94 euros per unit. The opposition had demanded to set their unit price at 2 euros after the outbreak of the Omicron wave.
The Spanish Ministry of Health has determined the maximum price of 2.94 euros for each unit of self-diagnostic antigen test, also called covid-19 self-test or rapid test. The parliamentarians had debated so that their price did not exceed 2 euros so that all scholarships could be tested for covid-19 and a lively debate on the importance of the prices of these tests compared to the means of Spanish households had been created.
Currently the cost price of the test unit for pharmacists is 2.9 euros, due to the very high European demand and the lack of stocks. But in a few days, pharmacies will be able to return to the usual prices and have good profit margins.
The fixing of this price comes after a controversy in Spain and the call of parliamentarians to lower unit prices after they soared during the wave of Omicron.
Spain, which was hit hard by the wave of coronavirus in December, saw the number of antigen tests purchased multiply by 8 between November and December.
The sale of Covid-19 self-diagnosis antigen tests reached 21.28 million units last December, compared to 2.488 million 30 days before, or 8.55 times the figure recorded in November and 32.8 times the figure recorded in October, according to data from the consultancy IQVIA, which acts as a plan for the pharmaceutical sector in Spain.
Faced with the rush for self-tests, their price has also increased as Spanish suppliers have fallen behind in ordering tests compared to other European countries, Spanish media report, citing ministerial sources.
And to add that the pharmacies therefore turned to international suppliers and had to pay for the tests in December at 4 or 5 euros per unit.
While the country has been facing the wave of Omicron for almost 80 days, the Interministerial Commission for Medicine Prices has decided to fix the prices of self-tests and set them at almost 3 euros to allow all Spaniards to test.
The Department of Health has also ruled out liberalizing sales to supermarkets and other retailers, leaving the monopoly to pharmacies.
In Morocco, the prices of coronavirus diagnostic self-tests vary between 100 and 150 dirhams and the price of PCR tests has been set by the government at 400 dirhams. Spain is one of the European countries with the highest prices for PCR tests, with prices ranging from 80 euros to 150 euros, hence the significant part of the population that goes for self-tests before doing the PCR.