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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Government looking to subsidise cost of antigen tests to help lower price for public

The Government is looking to subsidise the cost of antigen tests to help people buy them at a lower price.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly is believed to be working with his department and stakeholders such as pharmacies in order to lower the price of antigen tests to encourage their use.

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This comes as NPHET advises people who are attending indoor environments to get tested twice a week.

Pharmacies have also been experiencing significant increases in antigen tests and it’s expected that this will further increase in the run-up to Christmas.

In the most recent meeting of the Expert Advisory Group on Rapid Testing, Donnelly sought advice on the best approach to deploying antigen tests, asking if it should be done by GPs, pharmacies, schools and third level.

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He also asked if they should be free to the public or if a nominal fee should be charged.

Donnelly also noted that the Department of Health intended to bring a memo to the Government, outlining the broad parameters and costs of subsidising tests in order to receive funding from the Government Covid Contingency Fund.

IMAGE – “Negative Covid-19 test” by Marco Verch (CCBY2.0)/Stephen Donnelly

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