If ATK is too cheap, the result will be false, warns Thai FDA


The Thai Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is cracking down on the sellers of fake antigen test kits (ATK) and other medical devices.

Supatra Boonserm, FDA’s deputy secretary-general, said many medical devices ranging from ATKs to pulse oximeters and thermometers that have not been authorised by the FDA are being sold openly. Some fake ATK units are going for as little as 40 baht, she said and advised people against using them as they produce inaccurate results.

She said the FDA-authorised ATKs are not all expensive.

Meanwhile, she said, the FDA has received many complaints and is taking legal action against 38 sellers. It has also blocked 4,500 links leading to websites advertising fake ATKs.

The FDA recently joined the Consumer Protection Police Division in raiding Bangkok’s Sampheng area and caught several offenders. The hunt will be expanded to other areas, the FDA said.

As for people who want to avoid spending too much on ATKs, Supatra said the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation (GPO) will be selling units at 40 baht per piece from Monday. However, she said, the GPO only has 2 million units.

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The FDA has also recently joined hands with many e-retailers to sell authorised ATKs. The FDA logo and detailed information on usage are displayed by the e-retailers.

Separately, GPO’s deputy managing director Sirikul Matevelungsun said the 40-baht ATKs can be bought at any GPO pharmacy from Monday onwards. However, the GPO is limited to one box of 20 units per person. Organisations or companies can also order the kits via GPO’s sales division and deliveries will be made in November.