• Sunday, July 03, 2022

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Javid urges review of ‘exploitative practices’ by PCR test firms

Britain’s health secretary Sajid Javid. (REUTERS/Henry Nicholls)

By: Sattwik Biswal

AFTER holidaymakers complained of huge prices and poor service from the firms offering PCR tests, UK’s health secretary has asked the competition watchdog to investigate “excessive” pricing and “exploitative practices”.

Sajid Javid has written a letter to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and has asked them to do a “rapid high-level” review to protect consumers.

A PCR test costs about £75 per person on average but prices could reach hundreds.

In his letter to CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli, Javid wrote: “I know that for too many people the cost of PCR testing can act as a barrier, especially for families who want to travel together.

“We have all experienced enormous disruption to our lives over this pandemic but it is not right if some families experience yet further disruption unnecessarily because of potentially unfair practices in the market for private travel tests.”

The health secretary has also requested immediate advice from the CMA on how to “stamp out any exploitative behaviour in this market”.

Despite the government having published a list of companies and clinics offering testing, there are reports of many having no full accreditation.

There are reports of PCR tests being offered for as little as £20, and more than £500. In addition to complaints about high charges, consumers have also reported not receiving test results or of being sent damaged PCR kits.

Eastern Eye

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