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Public Health Ministry approves purchase of 8.5 million Chinese antigen test kits

Maya Taylor



PHOTO: dronepicr/Flickr

First it was on, then it was off, then it was on again. Now the Public Health Ministry has officially given the go-ahead for the purchase of 8.5 million antigen test kits from China. Sura Visetsak from the ministry says the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation can proceed with the purchase from Lepu Medical Technology.

The Bangkok Post reports that the contract is being signed with Ostland Capital after tests showed the kits met the required standard. The same kits have been recalled by the US Food and Drug Administration due to the high number of inaccurate results, which has led the opposition Pheu Thai party to file a no-confidence motion against Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul.

However, Sura insists the process has met all legal obligations and the kits meet the required standard.

“The quality of the product has been confirmed by all the necessary agencies, and there would have to be a good reason to cancel the deal now. The next step is for the GPO to sign the contract and get the ATKs as soon as possible.”

The Bangkok Post reports that the Health Ministry yesterday confirmed the move at a press conference attended by the GPO, the FDA, and Dr Mongkol Kunakorn from the Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital, at Mahidol University.

Mongkol is chief of the Department of Pathology, where tests on new medical products are carried out in partnership with the FDA. He says there are no major differences between the kits and those produced by other brands which have already been approved by the FDA.

Paisan Dunkum from the FDA has urged the public to have confidence in the kits, adding that their use will be subject to rigorous surveillance. Meanwhile, Dr Jadej Thammathach-Aree from the National Health Security Office has given the kits his backing, saying he has no concerns about the deal.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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