More than five million rapid antigen test kits reserved for Australia could be sent to the United States because of bureaucratic delays.

Self-testing kits are sold out at chemists and online across Australia as Omicron case numbers, in almost every state, continue to surge in the tens of thousands every day.

Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration didn’t approve any of the kits until October – almost a year after their counterparts in the US and the UK. 

SupplyAus, an Aboriginal-run good distribution business, imported home-test kits from China that have been approved for use in the US but not Australia.

Chief executive Adam Williams said those much-needed kits would be sent to the US unless the TGA approved them so they could be available in Indigenous communities for $5.

Scroll down for video 

More than five million rapid antigen test kits reserved for Australia could be sent to the United States because of bureaucratic delays. Self-testing kits are sold out at chemists and online across Australia as Omicron case numbers, in almost every state, continue to surge in the tens of thousands every day (pictured is aa chemist in Sydney on January 11, 2022)

More than five million rapid antigen test kits reserved for Australia could be sent to the United States because of bureaucratic delays. Self-testing kits are sold out at chemists and online across Australia as Omicron case numbers, in almost every state, continue to surge in the tens of thousands every day (pictured is aa chemist in Sydney on January 11, 2022)

More than five million rapid antigen test kits reserved for Australia could be sent to the United States because of bureaucratic delays. Self-testing kits are sold out at chemists and online across Australia as Omicron case numbers, in almost every state, continue to surge in the tens of thousands every day (pictured is aa chemist in Sydney on January 11, 2022) 

‘We have five million units that we could put on commercial planes within a matter of hours,’ he told the ABC’s 7.30 program.

‘If this goes any longer, we’ll probably just sell them there.

‘Just sitting there in storage doesn’t make any point and the factory’s constantly calling us to say, “Adam, I have people around the world that want to buy these. 

‘”Are you taking them or not?”‘  

The TGA, an agency of the federal Department of Health, has now approved 21 kits, with 15 of them from China.

But 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. 

SupplyAus, an Aboriginal-run good distribution business, imported home-test kits from China that have been approved for use in the US but not Australia. Chief executive Adam Williams (pictured left with federal Liberal MP Andrew Laming) said those much-needed kits would be sent to the US unless the TGA approved them so they could be available in Indigenous communities for $5

SupplyAus, an Aboriginal-run good distribution business, imported home-test kits from China that have been approved for use in the US but not Australia. Chief executive Adam Williams (pictured left with federal Liberal MP Andrew Laming) said those much-needed kits would be sent to the US unless the TGA approved them so they could be available in Indigenous communities for $5

SupplyAus, an Aboriginal-run good distribution business, imported home-test kits from China that have been approved for use in the US but not Australia. Chief executive Adam Williams (pictured left with federal Liberal MP Andrew Laming) said those much-needed kits would be sent to the US unless the TGA approved them so they could be available in Indigenous communities for $5

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.

Visitors or returning residents having 72 hours for the result to be valid as part of their border declaration form.

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 (pictured is a border check point at Coolangatta on the Gold Coast)

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 (pictured is a border check point at Coolangatta on the Gold Coast)

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 (pictured is a border check point at Coolangatta on the Gold Coast)

Brisbane-based company AnteoTech was early last year given a $1.4million grant from the Queensland government to develop a 15-minute rapid antigen test. 

But chief executive Derek Thomson said the TGA’s reluctance to approve rapid antigen tests meant they weren’t manufactured in Australia. 

‘All the development work was done right here in Brisbane and our first target market was Europe because the Australian market were not using RATs at the top and therefore we set up our manufacturing in Spain to service the European market,’ he told 7.30.

‘We’ve been campaigning for over a year for the extended use of RATs to frontline the response to the pandemic but Australian governments have not seen that that was the viable way forward.’

Anthony Tassone, the Victorian president of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, said rapid antigen test shortages were likely to continue for another month, as Chinese New Year celebration holidays caused production delays (pictured are folk artists performing in Langzhou ahead of the Chinese New Year)

Anthony Tassone, the Victorian president of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, said rapid antigen test shortages were likely to continue for another month, as Chinese New Year celebration holidays caused production delays (pictured are folk artists performing in Langzhou ahead of the Chinese New Year)

Anthony Tassone, the Victorian president of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, said rapid antigen test shortages were likely to continue for another month, as Chinese New Year celebration holidays caused production delays (pictured are folk artists performing in Langzhou ahead of the Chinese New Year)

AnteoTech’s EuGeni product is approved for use in Europe but the TGA has yet to give approval for its use in Australia.

Innovation Scientific’s nasal swab test is the only Australian-made rapid antigen test approved by the TGA.

It has an acceptable sensitivity rating which means it has an 80 per cent accuracy rate.

Anthony Tassone, the Victorian president of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, said rapid antigen test shortages were likely to continue for another month, as Chinese New Year celebration holidays caused production delays.

‘We do hope that the supply situation will improve by the end of January,’ he told the ABC. 

Source: Daily Mail

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Europe Covid: British tourists refused entry at Austrian airport

Dozens of British holidaymakers have been turned away from the Austrian border…

New Jersey nurse who works with cancer patients ‘brain dead’ after mugger shoved her in Times Square

A New Jersey nurse who works with cancer patients is ‘brain dead’…

Opening of £20bn Elizabeth Line is pushed back from vague ‘early 2022’ launch to May

The beleaguered £20billion Crossrail line has been delayed yet again to next…

Nine More States Added To Chicago Travel Advisory

CHICAGO (CBS) — Nine more states have been added to Chicago’s COVID-19…