Covid-19 test price cap removed
The Centre has removed the price cap of Rs 4,500 it had set earlier for a diagnostic test for the new coronavirus in private laboratories and asked states and Union Territories to negotiate with the labs and fix mutually agreeable prices.
The Indian Council of Medical Research said the landscape for the diagnosis of the coronavirus infection had changed over the past two months with multiple tests now available in the market and their prices were competitive and falling.
“In this backdrop, keeping evolving prices of testing commodities, the upper ceiling of Rs 4,500 may not be applicable now,” ICMR director-general Balram Bhargava said in a note on Monday.
The All India Drug Action Network, a non-government group of physicians and patients’ rights advocates, said the ICMR had to date not justified on what basis it had set the Rs 4,500 cap. “It’s been a bonanza for private labs,” said Malini Aisola, a coordinator with AIDAN.