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The South African Communist Party (SACP) welcomes the findings made by the Competition Commission from its investigation, resulting in the reduction of prices for COVID-19 PCR tests. However, the matter should not end here, and the exorbitant pricing of COVID-19 PCR tests should be seen as the tip of the iceberg.
There must be consequences for the profits made from the exorbitant pricing of the COVID-19 PCR tests.
In general, to put people before profit, NO health-care related pricing should be left without scrutiny. Besides the COVID-19 PCR tests, among others the price of medicine is exorbitant. Like in the private laboratory sector where oligopolies are dominant, the pharmaceutical industry is dominated by monopolies, with foreign controlled multinational corporations calling the shots.
Steps need to be taken to protect the people against unfair pricing in the entire health-care sector. This should form part of the wider effort to advance towards quality health-care for all through implementing the National Health Insurance. Considerations should include strengthening the regulatory framework and its enforcement.
Following its investigation, the Competition Commission reached an agreement with two private sector laboratories, Lancet and Ampath, to reduce their pricing of COVID-19 PCR tests to not more than R500. Smaller laboratories will follow suit, said the commission on Sunday 12 December 2021.
Issued by SACP