Free corona tests Pharmacies want to reduce supply
Status: 06/20/2021 07:22 a.m.
In view of falling demand and less money from the federal government, many pharmacies want to reduce their range of corona rapid tests. The implementation is no longer economical. Due to the falling demand for corona tests, Germany’s pharmacies want to limit their range. Since the number of fully vaccinated is increasing and infection protection rules have been relaxed, the need for tests is decreasing, said a spokesman for the Abda pharmacists’ association. He also pointed out that the federal government pays less than before. “This means that it is no longer economical to carry out the tests for a number of pharmacies.” The test offer will therefore probably get smaller step by step. Alongside private companies and state institutions, pharmacies are among the most important test center operators. According to Abda estimates, around 20 to 25 percent of pharmacies offer so-called citizen tests – that is, rapid tests that are free for consumers and paid for by the federal government.
Corona tests Test providers will get less money from July
So far, operators of corona test sites have been able to charge 18 euros per test – this amount will soon be reduced significantly.
Less money for tests
Originally, the pharmacies, like all other providers, received up to 18 euros per antigen test carried out, now the federal government only pays up to 12.50 euros. In the corona pandemic, spring tests were key to ensuring that people with a negative result could visit restaurants or shops.
However, the number of infections is now so low that loosening takes effect and a visit to a restaurant or shopping is permitted even without a test result. In addition, fully vaccinated people are exempt from test requirements.
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Fewer and fewer rapid tests
Figures from the NRW Ministry of Health show how much demand is falling. Last Thursday there were 306,000 rapid antigen tests via the test centers in the state. Of those, 216 were positive – a percentage of 0.07 percent. A week earlier there were 498,000 tests in one day (positive: 0.08 percent); a month ago it was 594,000 (positive: 0.23 percent). The number of test sites in North Rhine-Westphalia was recently stable at 9236 – it will probably decrease in the future.
The Association of the Diagnostics Industry, which represents manufacturers of tests, assumes that the demand for antigen tests in the test centers will drop significantly in the summer. The manufacturers will “of course adjust to a permanently falling demand,” said an association spokeswoman. But they are working on tests that could detect both influenza and coronavirus disease. Such tests could help in the fall, should there be a flu wave and the number of corona infections rise again.
June 15, 2021
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