Making affordable test kits


Mediven scientist Dr Teh Boon Aun showing the Covid-19 self-test kit produced by the factory.

UP to one million Covid-19 self-test kits are being rolled out weekly at a factory in Bayan Lepas, Penang, to meet market needs.

Medical Innovation Ventures Sdn Bhd (Mediven) operations director Dr Lim Li Sze said such high volume production enabled the company to bring costs down to ensure the kits are sold within the ceiling prices stipulated by the Government.

“We started producing the self-test kits about two months ago.

“As the initial set-up was costly and production started in low numbers, the cost was high at above RM20 per set.

“Now with between 500,000 and one million sets produced weekly, we are able to bring down production costs and keep the kits affordable,” she said.

The company’s executive director Ariff Ismail said Mediven had been producing rapid test kits for various purposes since 2012, thus producing kits to detect Covid-19 was not difficult.

Mohd Ridzuan (right) and his officers checking the self- test kits at the factory. With him are (from left) Ariff and Lim. — LIM BENG TATT/The StarMohd Ridzuan (right) and his officers checking the self- test kits at the factory. With him are (from left) Ariff and Lim. — LIM BENG TATT/The Star

In view of the need to enhance tracking and traceability of the kits, they are approved by the Medical Devices Authority and each kit features a unique QR code.

“We employ a specific QR code to track each kit to its origins and production details.

“The code prevents double reporting of the same patient’s result.

“It also helps consumers to check on the kit’s authenticity,” said Ariff in response to the risk of using fake self-test kits being sold in the market.

The Government has set a ceiling price of RM16 (wholesale) and RM19.90 (retail) for Covid-19 self-test kits.

Penang Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP) director Mohd Ridzuan Ab Ghapar, who visited the factory, said a total of 55 premises had been inspected to ensure they comply with the new ceiling prices for Covid-19 self-test kits.

KPDNHEP enforcement officer Febriany Citra Kesuma Ibrahim taking a closer look at the test kits.KPDNHEP enforcement officer Febriany Citra Kesuma Ibrahim taking a closer look at the test kits.

“We found all suppliers and traders following the ruling gazetted under the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011,” he said.

“Individuals who do not comply with the ruling may be fined up to RM100,000 or jailed not more than three years or both.

“They could also face compound notices of up to RM50,000.

“Errant companies could be fined up to RM500,000 or face compound notices of up to RM250,000.”

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