Self-test kits selling like hot cakes

PETALING JAYA: There has been overwhelming demand for Covid-19 home self-test kits, say retail pharmacies.

The response from online and offline sales has been great, said BIG Pharmacy marketing manager Liew Chui Ying.

“Customers have walked in to ask about them and also there are enquiries via online platforms or our official WhatsApp number. The sales are overwhelming and we believe it will continue to grow further,” she said when contacted yesterday.

Liew said new stocks arrived at their warehouse yesterday.

These kits, she said, will be available for purchase at selected BIG Pharmacy stores from today, subject to availability.

Due to limited supply, she said some stores may not be getting sufficient stock based on pre-orders. As such, priority will be given to pre-orders.

“Customers can walk in for pre-order registration or order online on our official web store,” said Liew.

At the moment, BIG Pharmacy is only carrying the Gmate Saliva Antigen Kits at a cost of RM39.90 each but its team will continue to explore other brands and suppliers.

“This test kit is offering a convenience for anyone who wishes to test if they are infected.

“They can do it safely at their home without going out to expose themselves or spread the virus since the accuracy is high at 96% based on 91% sensitivity and 100% specificity,” she said.

Caring Pharmacy Retail Management Sdn Bhd head of procurement, health, beauty and own brands category Foo Fung Jiun also said the demand for the Covid-19 self-test kits has been “overwhelming”.

“Most of our stores will have the test kits by Wednesday,” he said.

Foo noted that there are currently two self-test kit brands approved by the Medical Device Authority.

“The Gmate Saliva Antigen Kits (Home Use) is one of them. For the other brand, we are still in the midst of discussion with the supplier,” he said.

The Gmate Saliva Antigen Kits is selling at Caring for RM39.90 each and RM219.60 for six.

Malaysian Pharmacists Society president Amrahi Buang said: “The self-test kits are going to be a game changer in the new normal.

“It can be widely used for mass events to ensure the status of the participants. It will also be relevant for manufacturers, factories and shop outlets if they are required to screen their employees periodically,” he said.

Amrahi said it will also be useful for testing in schools and universities.

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