Mr. Price launches sale of antigen tests for €1.99 nationwide 1 week ago

Mr. Price launches sale of antigen tests for €1.99 nationwide

A deal not to be sniffed at...

As the old adage goes, "if you want something done, it's better to do it yourself".

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As the decision on subsidies for antigen tests continues to be delayed, one retailer has taken it upon themselves to lower the cost before the Government could.

Mr Price announced on Thursday (25 November) that selected stores nationwide would sell antigen tests for €1.99.

In a statement, the discount retailer claimed "“they were not waiting for any subsidy from the government”, and that they wanted their antigen tests to be the cheapest in Ireland.

The tests are being provided by Anbio Biotechnology, who are currently based in China.

Antigen tests have become a burning topic in response to the rising Covid numbers in the country, with cost being a major point of criticism for the Government.

A single test can cost upward of €8 in a shop or pharmacy at the moment.

This is in contrast with the NHS response, where packs of five are available for free from pharmacists around the UK.

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Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan urged the Government not to provide subsidies for antigen tests, as people may not use them in the right context and will provide a false sense of security towards Covid.

"People who are cases and who are symptomatic, they simply must self-isolate and then get a PCR test. Not an antigen test," Dr Holohan said.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly agreed that the current cost of antigen tests were too high, but did not agree that the tests should be provided for free.

"The advice I have is that they shouldn't be free. They're free in the UK and the government came under huge criticism in parliament for that, because essentially there were no controls on how they were being used at all," he said.

"They're very, very expensive. Everytime you subsidise an antigen test, it's money you're not spending on a nurse, you're not spending on a doctor."

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