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GPO inks purchase of 8.5m Covid test kits for distribution from next week

The Government Pharmaceutical Organisation (GPO) on Monday signed a purchase agreement for 8.5 million Chinese-made antigen test kits (ATKs) and expects to begin distributing them for free next week.

The contract stipulates that the importer, World Medical Alliance (Thailand), must deliver the Covid-19 ATKs to about 1,000 service units in Thailand within 14 days, said GPO director Witoon Danwiboon.

Distribution of the kits, which are made by Beijing Lepu Medical Technology Co, should begin via public hospitals on September 8 or 9.

A Ramathibodi Hospital laboratory will also test a sample of the kits for sensitivity, specificity, and non-specificity, in line with Thai Food and Drug Administration guidelines.

Siriya Thepcharoen, a World Medical Alliance representative, said the first batch of about 1 million Lepu ATKs will arrive in Thailand on chartered flights on September 8-9. More batches would gradually follow until the full order for 8.5 million ATKs was filled within 14 days of signing the contract, Siriya added.

The Lepu ATKS are being supplied at 70 baht per kit in a deal worth almost 600 million baht.

News of the deal sparked a public outcry and opposition from the Rural Doctors Society last week after it was revealed that the US had banned the Lepu test kits over concerns about their accuracy.

Published : August 30, 2021