Berlin (dpa) – In Germany, there could soon be home corona rapid tests. The Federal Ministry of Health plans to amend the “Medical Device Supply Regulation” to allow easy-to-use tests to be sold to individuals.
The earlier rapid antigen tests should only be given to doctors, medical or nursing facilities, and educational facilities have also been potential recipients since December. It takes a while before the new self-tests are available in pharmacies.
The ministry’s draft, which is available to the German news agency, says that in the future, tests for self-application by laymen would also play a decisive role in managing the pandemic. “Such tests make an important contribution to optimizing the test strategy in Germany.”
According to the ministry and the Federal Association of German Pharmacy Associations (ABDA), they are not yet available, but they are being developed. Before ‘self-use tests’ can go on sale, they must go through a special approval process. According to the ministry, it must be proven that they are meaningful enough and doable for lay people.
The director of the Association of the Diagnostics Industry, Martin Walger, told the DPA on Monday that the companies could now work hard to approve such tests. But it takes “a few weeks” for that to happen. According to him, different variants are possible, such as smears in the nose that do not need to be made deeper or so-called gargle and spit tests.
Regarding the possible prices of the self-tests, the pharmacy associations said they would be calculated and reported separately by each manufacturer and pharmacy, especially as the tests also differ in quality and handling.
In addition to self-testing, the planned amendment to the regulation by the Ministry of Health also provides more opportunities to use the earlier rapid antigen testing in professional life. To this end, the group of facilities that have access to the rapid tests will be expanded. Facilities for “critical infrastructures” will also have the option to purchase tests. Among other things, facilities in the fields of energy, information technology, telecommunications, transport and traffic are mentioned.
SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach called for regular testing in companies. “Studies show very clearly, if you were to test the companies’ workforce twice a week with an antigen test, so to speak, at the start of work, those who are not in the home office, you would increase the number of new can greatly reduce infections, ”he said. in an interview with RTL / ntv.