PUTRAJAYA: The government has set a ceiling price of RM16 (wholesale) and RM19.90 (retail) for Covid-19 self-test kits.
This was announced in a joint statement on Thursday (Sept 2) by Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi and Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
The ceiling prices will take effect on Sept 5.
At present, there are 11 brands of Covid-19 self-test kits that have been approved by the ministry for public use.
Out of the 11, seven test kits use saliva samples and four others use nasal swab samples.
The ceiling price will see a significant reduction in retail prices, as many of these kits are sold between RM28 to RM40.
In a press conference on Wednesday (Sept 1), Khairy said making self-test kits more affordable and accessible was part of the government's plan to implement regular Covid-19 testing among the public.
This is part of the country's strategy to move into the endemic phase.
Those selling these self-test kits above the ceiling price can be penalised under the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011.
Individuals can be fined up to RM100,000, or imprisoned not more than three years, or both, for the offence. They could also be issued compound notices of up to RM50,000.
Companies are liable to a fine of RM500,000 or a compound notice of up to RM250,000.
In The Star's report on Aug 25, consumer and health groups called on the government to make Covid-19 self-test kits more affordable.
The groups, while lauding the government's efforts to encourage the public to self-test for Covid-19, said self-test kits should cost less.