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RAT kit pricing 'beyond outrageous': ACCC

Signage notifying customers that Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) kits are sold out is seen on the entrance to a chemist in Sydney. Source: AAP

The consumer affairs monitor is criticising the 'beyond outrageous' prices of some rapid antigen testing kits. Meanwhile, Federal health authorities are trying to reassure Australians there are signs of coronavirus case numbers and hospitalisations are levelling out.

Rapid antigen testing is rapidly becoming the cornerstone of government and business measures to address the spread of COVID-19.

And now the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's Rod Sims is demanding answers about the exorbitant pricing of test kits, with costs of up to $500 for two tests for sale online when the wholesale cost is $11.45. 

"We have already written out to a range of chains to get them to explain their pricing and we are also writing out to individual stores to get them to explain their pricing - some individual stores within chains are pricing at very high levels."

ACCC boss Rod Sims is also concerned about high prices for RATs at convenience stores, petrol stations, tobacconists and chemists. 

"We've also had reports that look as if people have bought the goods at retail and then on-sold them at more than a 20 per cent mark up and that is illegal under the government's recent announcement and we're referring anything that looks (to be) of that nature to the Australian Federal Police."

And the widespread use of the tests has expanded further with South Australia's first regional collection site for COVID-19 RATs opening in the Riverland region.

Premier Steven Marshall says the COVID-19 situation is stabilising.

"We're very satisfied with the testing rate in South Australia, the positivity remaining stable, hospitalisations, ICU and those on ventilators are stable - nothing like the situation we had three or four weeks ago."

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SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments. News and information is available in 63 languages at https://www.sbs.com.au/language/coronavirus

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