Tue, September 28, 2021

in-focus

Retailers profiteering from rapid test kits face jail, warns Commerce Ministry


The Commerce Ministry says it is working to set a standard price for Covid-19 rapid antigen test kits (ATKs) to prevent retailers cashing in on high demand.

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The ministry’s Price of Goods and Services Committee will perform a market survey to compare prices in shops against the manufacturers’ recommended retail prices,” said ministry permanent-secretary Boonyarit Kalayanamit, who also chairs the committee.

“We will post the suitable standard price of ATKs on the Department of Internal Trade’s website as soon as possible,” he said on Friday.

Boonyarit explained that 34 brands of ATK have so far registered with the Public Health Ministry to sell their products in Thailand. However, only 10 manufacturers have submitted information on costs and recommended retail price with the Department of Internal Trade.

The submitted retail prices range from 250 to 350 baht, Boonyarit said.

“If you find any retailers selling at a higher price, contact the Department of Internal Trade hotline at 1569,” he said, warning that retailers who inflate prices face 7 years in prison and/or a 140,000-baht fine.

Friday’s meeting of the Price of Goods and Services Committee reported that 10 online retailers were arrested for selling Fah Talai Jone (Andrographis paniculata) at 345 baht to 450 baht per bottle of 60 tablets – well above the Department of Internal Trade’s suggested price of 80 baht. Meanwhile, the owner of a Bangkok pharmacy was arrested for selling ATKs at 450 baht apiece – 100 baht higher than the manufacturer’s recommended price of 350 baht.

Published : August 13, 2021

By : THE NATION