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Taiwan's FORA announces big price cuts for COVID at-home test kit

Cost projected to be NT$170 in late May, compared with current NT$300

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FORA's COVID19 antigen self test kits. 

FORA's COVID19 antigen self test kits.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The country's largest antigen rapid test producer said Friday (April 15) the cost of a COVID home testing kit will be lowered to NT$170 (US$5.84) by the end of May, following complaints of overcharging.

FORA Care Taiwan Chairman Mike Chen (陳朝旺) said the price will come down in phases. The first round of cuts will start on April 25, with a single kit to cost NT$230 compared to the current price of NT$300.

The second round of cuts will be on May 5, when consumers will pay NT$200 for a single kit. In the third round of cuts on May 25, a pack of five will cost NT$850, working out at NT$170 per single kit.

In response to skyrocketing demand for at-home tests due to the spread of local Omicron cases, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) confirmed earlier this week that the government has procured kits that will cost no more than NT$200 (US$6.90) per unit in the near future. Currently, kit prices are higher than in Germany, Singapore, and South Korea.

This week, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) also urged local producers of test kits to lower their prices.

Formosa Biomedical Technology Corp. is looking to increase production of its self test kits and lower the price to under NT$200, according to UDN. Another local producer of rapid test kits, Enimmune Corp., has yet to nail down a plan and address price changes.

The at-home test kits were first available at drugstores and convenience stores in June 2021. Those who test positive should call 1922 or contact the local health authorities to arrange for a PCR test at a screening center, according to the CECC.