Australia

Government finally signs deal for local rapid antigen tests

The McGowan Government has signed a deal to purchase rapid antigen tests from a Perth-based supplier, on the same day it emerged tens of millions of kits in WA were being sent to the Eastern States.

AM Diagnostics, located in Bayswater, is one of the nation’s biggest importers of Chinese-made RATs but almost all its stock is going east because the NSW, Victorian and Commonwealth governments were the first to secure supplies.

After the revelation in Tuesday’s The West Australian, Mark McGowan said the company had approached PathWest earlier this month about selling tests to WA, but when the agency requested a sample kit to verify their effectiveness, it never received a response.

PathWest’s request for a sample came three months after the Therapeutic Goods Administration approved the sale of AM Diagnostic’s tests. The medical regulator said the oral tests had “high sensitivity” and the nasal swabs “very high sensitivity”.

“We did go back to them and we didn’t hear back from them, but obviously we can go back to them again,” the Premier said.

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