Rapid virus test prices ‘halved’ for poorer nations
Poorer countries will have access to hundreds of millions more rapid Covid-19 tests following a deal to slash prices in half and boost production, Unitaid said yesterday. mThe international health agency and the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) closed a deal with an Indian firm to produce up to 120 million tests this year for low- and middle-income countries, to be sold at half the going price of $5. Unitaid and FIND said similar deals to be announced in the coming weeks would ensure the supply of more than half of the 500 million rapid tests that experts say they will need this year. Less precise but far faster and cheaper than other forms of Covid-19 diagnosis, rapid antigen tests are considered an important weapon in the pandemic battle. This is particularly the case in poorer settings, where there is generally less access to PCR nasal swabs and the sophisticated lab equipment needed to analyse them.