ACCC to Crack Down on RAT Price Gouging – How To Report Incidents

You may have noticed that prices vary for Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) from store to store, each retailer is free to set their own prices.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)  is aware of the significant public concern about the pricing of rapid antigen tests and is contacting suppliers and monitoring the situation very closely.

The ACCC will be examining claims that the current pricing levels of rapid antigen tests are due to challenges in obtaining a supply of those tests.

“We are seeking information from suppliers about their costs and the current pricing of rapid antigen tests. We are also asking them about their current stock levels, and the amounts on order, and about their expectations about when additional tests may become readily available to consumers,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.

“We are also contacting major retailers and pharmacies seeking similar information and reminding them that they need to be able to substantiate any claims they make to consumers about the reason for higher prices.”

“The ACCC has established a team to work on the issues,” Mr Sims said.

While suppliers are generally able to set their own prices, businesses must not make false or misleading statements about the reason for high prices.

Name and Shame

“We won’t be shy to name and shame suppliers and retailers we consider to be doing the wrong thing,” Mr Sims said.

In certain circumstances, excessive pricing of essential goods or services may also be unconscionable.

Businesses must also set their prices independently of their competitors and not collude about pricing.

The ACCC will review the information received from suppliers, retailers and the public.

“We’ve also had over 100 consumer contacts to our Infocentre or through the online form. We will review the information received and investigate the evidence to determine if there is conduct that raises concerns,” Mr Sims said.

“The ACCC is monitoring the situation and will take appropriate action under its existing powers.  The ACCC has not sought and does not need, more powers to deal with the current situation. ”

How To Report Incidents

Consumers can contact the ACCC to report concerning conduct online.

Further, anyone who has evidence of price-fixing cartels can contact the ACCC anonymously(link is external) or via their webform.

Find A Rat Website

A smart tech person has developed a Find a Rapid Antigen Test site called Find A RAT test. If you want to log Lane Cove information on this website that will help out the community.

However, it relies on the person who logged the info, updating the information when the tests are sold out or someone else updating the info. A person may find a test and log a report but they will not necessarily know when it is sold out and provide an update.
It’s a good resource to find out who supplies RATS – for example, Lane Cove Post office had some today – which is the first time we have heard this.

If you compare it with the find a Covid19 vaccination site it does have some issues as the find a COVID19 vaccination site links to hotdocs and other booking software and can update in real-time. See more in our article here on booster shots

Please keep letting us know where you have found RATS and how many are in stock – we will update our Facebook Page and also there is a link with real-time information on Lane Cove Chat by ITC.  

Lane Cove Chat by ITC also has some good advice on how to obtain a PCR test when you are travelling internationally.

Information on Rapid Antigen Tests

Rapid Antigen Tests are approved by the TGA.  The TGA on its website states the following:

“The TGA has approved the following COVID-19 self-tests (home use tests) for supply in Australia from 1 November 2021.

Please refer to the instructions on how to use each test (that are provided in the table below) for further information on what sample types the test can be used with (e.g. nasal swab or saliva).

The TGA’s performance requirements for COVID rapid antigen self-tests are internationally aligned with technical specifications published by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the European Commission. This includes a minimum clinical sensitivity of at least 80% (for specimens collected within 7 days of symptom onset) and a minimum clinical specificity of at least 98%.

To provide an indication of the performance of COVID-19 rapid antigen self-tests, the table below includes information on the clinical sensitivity of each test. This is based on the studies performed by the manufacturer which show a positive percent agreement (PPA). PPA is the proportion of individuals that produced a positive test result using a COVID-19 rapid antigen self-test, in comparison with a positive result that was obtained using a more sensitive laboratory PCR test.

The inclusion of this information does not represent TGA endorsement of a particular test as all approved tests meet the performance requirements. The manufacturer’s sensitivity information is also included in the instructions provided with each test and can be viewed by clicking on the link below.

For each test the TGA comments on clinical sensitivity as follows:

Acceptable sensitivity – clinical sensitivity greater than 80% PPA

High sensitivity – clinical sensitivity greater than 90% PPA

Very high sensitivity – clinical sensitivity greater than 95% PPA”

Click here for the list of approved TGA RATS and sensitivity

Booster Shots

The Federal Minister has told clinics/doctors/hubs that if they have supplies, they can already give shots to patients who may only have a three-month interval between their second jab and the booster jab.  It seems that Lane Cove is eager to get their Booster shot with many pharmacies and local doctors booked out until the New Year.

The Department of Health has allocated Moderna and Pfizer to pharmacies and mass vaccination hubs.  GP’s have only been allocated, Pfizer.  If you are searching via this link, you will find there are more appointments for Moderna available.  It does not matter which type of shot you got for your first two jabs; you can have either Pfizer or Moderna.

We have updated our article on Booster shots and their availability – click here.

ITC Wants To Expand, and We Need Your Support

Many of you have asked how you can support In the Cove. It’s so easy – tell your friends about us, follow us on a different platform, subscribe to our weekly news blast, or if you can, we now have a Patreon Account (this allows us to keep local news free – no paywall!!!)

ITC wants to expand by employing local people to help us out. We need your help – yes, we get local business advertising, but that covers our costs and pays our current team.   Feel free to be a reader sponsor if you have enjoyed our local news coverage – no amount is too small or too big. Thank you so much to the people who have already supported us via our press Patreon account. TIP Us Here.

Stay tuned. We will be announcing our In the Cove Intern programme soon – where we will take on a part-time PAID intern who lives locally and is studying either PR, Social Media, Communication or Journalism.   This is our way to give back to Lane Cove, and as you would be aware, we offer free advertising for all local jobs as we are passionate about local jobs for local people.


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