Plan to buy China-made Covid test kits shelved after US faults quality
The Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) on Thursday suspended a plan to purchase 8.5 million sets of antigen test kits (ATKs), following the news that US Food and Drugtne Administration had banned the use of ATKs made by Beijing Lepu Medical Technology.
Sars-CoV-2 Antigen and Leccurate Antibody Test products by Lepu Medical Technology were recalled in the United States on May 28 due to "a high risk of false results when using these tests", according to the US FDA.
The news has sparked public criticism about the quality of the company’s products.
“The importer of the ATKs, Ostland Capital Ltd, had earlier registered the product with the Thai FDA and on August 10 had proposed a price of THB70 per kit [including VAT] which won the bid,” said Public Health Permanent Secretary Dr Kiattiphum Wongrajit, who also serves as president of the GPO board. “However, as many parties have expressed concerns about the product quality, the GPO board decided to postpone the purchase of 8.5 million ATKs indefinitely.
The GPO and the FDA will thoroughly inspect the product quality in the meantime and will give an update as soon as we can.”
Kiattiphum added that the inspection procedures would be fully transparent and verifiable to ensure that the bidding for ATKs is conducted fairly and that Thailand purchases high-quality products at reasonable price.