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Individual rapid antigen tests are selling for $100 with substantially more complaints made about pharmacists than any other kind of retailer.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has compiled a list a complaints about price gouging for home testing kits.
From Christmas Day to January 12, maximum prices surged from just $14 to $100 by January 7.
This was well above the wholesale costs of $3.95 to $11.45 for one test.
When it came to reported rip offs, pharmacists had the most complaints at 879 during the two-and-a-half week period followed by 283 for supermarkets and convenience stores and 272 for petrol stations.
Rapid antigen tests are selling for $100 with more complaints made about pharmacists (pictured is a stock image of a Sydney chemist)
ACCC chair Rod Sims said retailers selling RATs at a huge mark-up needed to explain themselves.
‘We are asking those businesses to urgently explain the prices they are charging,’ he said.
Since October, the Therapeutic Goods Administration has approved 22 test kits, with 16 of them made in China.
With Chinese New Year coming up on February 1, Chinese factories are set to close, further delaying supplies.
Australia’s TGA didn’t approve its first self-administered rapid antigen test until October 2021.
The American Food and Drug Administration approved the first over-the-counter home testing kit in December 2020.
The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approved the first lateral flow test kit in January 2021.
Rapid antigen tests in Australia have quickly sold out at chemists and supermarkets after National Cabinet, on January 5, announced they would be allowed to confirm a positive Covid test.
The measure was designed to people from having to queue up for hours at a Covid testing clinic to get a PCR or polymerase chain reaction test.
Queensland has since January 1 allowed interstate travellers to take a rapid antigen test to enter the state instead of having to queue up for a PCR test.