More than five months have passed since the sale of self-diagnostic tests for Covid in pharmacies without the need for a prescription was approved. A time when the Spanish they have come to pay up to 8.7 euros on average for these antigen tests, compared to the 2.94 euros now set as a maximum by the Government.
That is to say, the Spanish have paid almost triple for the antigen tests if we compare it with the maximum cost agreed this Thursday in the Interministerial Commission on Drug Prices (CIPM).
According to data provided by the consulting firm Iqvia to EL ESPAÑOL-Invertia, the average price of these self-diagnostic tests reached 8.7 euros last July. Although there are still no figures for the average cost in December, in the last week of the mentioned month, the price stood at 7.03 euros.
In other words, Spaniards have paid on average more than double in December the maximum price set by the Government, which, let us remember, was 2.94 euros.
However, these amounts correspond to the average cost, the real cost being much higher. As this newspaper reported, these self-diagnostic tests have reached 12 euros per unitdue to the increase in demand.
An increase in sales that responds to the explosion of infections due to the omicron variant and the proximity of the Christmas holidays. Such was the demand that came to be problems of stock in Spanish pharmacies.
A problem that, according to the Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, has already been solved. “Our priority objective was to stabilize the supply of this type of product. Once established, we have regulated the maximum price”, she has said.
To set the maximum cost of antigen tests “the cost of sale since July has been considered to have an average price orientation that we have nuanced in a price framework of the environment”, explained Patricia Lacruz, general director of Pharmacy.
However, there are countries where the price of these tests is minor. This is the case of Portugal, where the cost is 2.01 euros; in France, 1.75 euros; and in Germany, 1.95 euros.
And there are even some where they are completelyfreesuch as in the United Kingdom, Switzerland (for close contacts or people with symptoms), Germany (the authorities offer free tests to the population on demand) or Austria (free tests are carried out in detection centers).
In fact, the opposition and pharmaceutical professionals are asking for the same thing for Spain: free testing. The initiative had been raised on several occasions to the Health Commission of the Congress of Deputies, but had always been rejected.
Evolution of the price of the tests
When the Government gave the green light to sell antigen tests in pharmacies without a prescription last month July, the sale skyrocketed. As mentioned above, the average price in that month was 8.7 euros.
A figure that decreased to 7.77 euros in August and up to 7.01 euros in September. And she kept doing it too october Y novemberstanding at 6.51 and 6.05 euros, respectively, according to data compiled by Iqvia.
But December arrived and the omicron variant and the demand for these Covid self-diagnosis tests skyrocketed again. In the week between December 27 and January 2, the sale in pharmacies it increased by 20% compared to the previous one and the average price was 7.03 euros.
In fact, sales doubled the stock of these products, as stated by the consultant in its latest report.
By autonomous communities, the pharmacies of Catalonia They are the ones that have dispensed the most tests, concentrating 20% of sales nationwide. Behind, the Madrid’s communitywhose drugstores concentrate 18% of the demand in Spain.