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Doctors Society to GPO: Comply with PM’s order, halt purchase of Chinese test kits


The Rural Doctors Society said on Thursday that the procurement of Chinese-made Covid-19 antigen test kits (ATK) by the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation (GPO) does not comply with the prime minister’s order on test kits.

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The GPO had announced it would go ahead with the plan to purchase 8.5 million ATK sets from Beijing-based Lepu Medical Technology through Ostland Capital, which earlier won the bid at a proposed price of THB70 per kit, despite public criticism over product quality.

The criticism stemmed from news that Lepu’s ATK sets were banned in the United States due to a high risk of false results.

“Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha issued an order published in a cabinet resolution dated August 17 page 53 paragraph 6 that the antigen test kits the GPO is purchasing must be approved by the World Health Organisation [WHO] and by Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration,” the society said in a statement on its Facebook page. “Furthermore, the PM added that the ATK sets must have a high accuracy in testing the new variant of the coronavirus to ensure timely treatment for infected patients,” the statement said.

According to the list of WHO-approved Covid-19 test kits published on July 27, Lepu’s ATK was not on it. The document can be viewed here: https://extranet.who.int/pqweb/sites/default/files/documents/210727_IVDs_SARS-CoV-2_Assessment_EUL.pdf

“The Rural Doctors Society therefore urges the GPO to comply with the prime minister’s order and put a stop to this deal with Lepu Medical Technology to ensure that Thailand procures only high-quality devices that meet international standards,” the statement read.

“We believe that the purchasing contract is still in the drafting phase and could therefore be cancelled before any damage is incurred,” it added.

Published : August 19, 2021

By : THE NATION