Spain caps sale price of home test kits amid surge in demand

Spain is introducing price controls for COVID-19 home testing kits after an outcry over reports of price-gouging during the Christmas holidays, when demand for the rapid antigen tests outpaced supply

The maximum price for the kits on sale at pharmacies from Saturday will be 2.94 euros ($3.37), Health Minister Carolina Darias told a news conference.

Darias said the price ceiling aimed to make the nasal swabs for self-testing “as accessible as possible, while ensuring they are available at pharmacies.”

The measure was unanimously agreed at a meeting of the Inter-ministerial Committee on Medicine Prices, she said, adding that officials took into account wholesale prices and the price of tests in other European countries.

Demand for the tests has been “exponential,” Darias said.

Spanish consumer association Facua recently conducted a survey of 150 pharmacies in five cities and found that prices for test kits ranged between 4.95 and 10 euros ($5.68-$11.50) as demand spiked.

Spain is also extending COVID-19 booster shots for those already vaccinated to people aged between 18-39, Darias announced. That represents about 12 million people.

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