3 arrested for selling unlicensed rapid test kits online

Police on Sunday arrested three people in Makati City for allegedly selling unlicensed rapid test kits online.

The suspects, Catherine De Quiros, Jason Hicban, and Jiggier Bernales, were arrested after they allegedly sold rapid test kits for coronavirus disease to a police officer who posed as a buyer in Barangay Poblacion.

The suspects were selling unlicensed test kits, valued at P600 per piece, according to Makati police chief Col. Oscar Jacildo.

About 120 rapid test kits being sold online were recovered from the suspects worth P72,000.

Jacildo warned that it would be dangerous to use rapid test kits without the approval of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The suspects refused to give a statement, which could face a violation of the FDA Act.

Police are investigating where the suspects got the test kits.

Some groups of in the Philippines warn against the use of COVID-19 rapid test kits.

Dr. Issa Alejandria of the Philippine Society of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (PSMID) said, “The sensitivity or the yield of a positive test (of an antibody test) is very low (at) about 20%. And among that 20%, 2/3 will be false positive.”

Also read: DOH aims to test 1.5% of population by July 31

Meanwhile, Congressman Mike Defensor earlier questioned the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for allegedly allowing the sale of different COVID-19 rapid test kits brands without first checking their effectiveness or if they are approved in their countries of origin.

“The problem is it (FDA) approved the sale of rapid brands even though these were not approved by FDA from their respective home countries,” he said.

Defensor added that nearly 50 percent of the 39 rapid test kits approved by the FDA for use and distribution in the Philippines has “dubious potency.”

Defensor said the following are the 16 COVID-19 rapid brands with no endorsements from regulatory bodies from their origin countries:

  •     Onsite COVID-19 by CTK Biotech made in USA (manufactured in china) no EUA FROM US FDA
  •     Qingdao Hightop Biotech
  •     Diagnosure COVID-19 by Hangzhou Biotest Biotech
  •     Bioscience Chongqing
  •     Zybio Inc.
  •     Zheijang Orient Gene Biotech
  •     Maglumi 2019 NCOs by Shenzen New Industries Biomedical
  •     VivaDiag by Vivachek Biotech Hangzhou
  •     Shanghai Outdo Biotech
  •     Beijing Lepu Medical Technology
  •     Hecin Scientific Inc.
  •     Shanghai Kehua Bio-Engineering
  •     Medical System Biotechnology Co.
  •     Clongene by Hangzhou Clongene Biotech Co.
  •     Wantai Sars-Cov by Beijing Wantai Biological
  •     Hangzhou Alltest Biotech Co. Ltd