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Facts on the controversy around prices of Rapid Antibody tests

Facts on the controversy around prices of Rapid Antibody tests

First of all, it is important to understand the background in which procurement decisions are made by ICMR. Testing is one of the most crucial weapons to fight COVID-19 and ICMR is doing everything it can to ramp up testing. This requires procurement of kits and supplying them to states. This procurement is being undertaken when globally there is huge demand for these test kits and various countries are applying their full might, monetary and diplomatic, to acquire them.

ICMR’S first attempt to procure these kits did not elicit any response from the suppliers. Its second attempt got adequate responses. Of these responses, taking sensitivity and specificity in mind, kits of 2 companies (Biomedemics and Wondfo) were identified for procurement. Both had the requisite international certifications.

For Wondfo, evaluation committee got 4 bids and the corresponding quotes received were Rs. 1,204, Rs. 1,200, Rs. 844 and Rs. 600. Accordingly, bid offer of Rs. 600 was considered as L-1.

In the meanwhile, ICMR also tried to procure the kits directly from Wondfo company in China through CGI. However, quotation received from direct procurement had the following issues:

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