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04 Jul 2022

'The market has done it itself' - Minister for Health scraps plans for subsidised antigen tests

'The market has done it itself' - Minister for Health scraps plans for subsidised antigen tests

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said one in five people are using the tests every week

Stephen Donnelly has said it is now "unnecessary" to introduce subsidised antigen tests to the public as retail prices of kits have dropped since Government began to discuss the scheme.

Speaking on Today with Claire Byrne, the Minister for Health said:

"It is pretty widespread now that the price really has fallen markedly. We got to broadly the price we were targeting without having to spend taxpayers' money.

"What was important to me was three things on anitgen testing; that they're being widely used, that they're being properly used and they're affordable.

"We have managed to achieve the price reduction without having to get into spending taxpayers' money on a subsidisation. The market has done it itself", he added.

Antigen tests were broadly retailing at €8, a price Minister Donnelly said was "simply not affordable", however, some retailers are now selling the kits for between €1.50 and €3.

The Minister said one in five people are using the tests every week but reiterated the advice to use them when you're asymptomatic and engaging in high-risk activities adding that people have been using the tests incorrectly.

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