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Testing times for the test companies

By Li Zhongxia and Mei Xinyu | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2022-12-07 11:09

Testing company played its due role in fighting pandemic

First and foremost, nucleic acid testing is by far the most agile virus detection method, not only for the novel coronavirus, but also for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, AIDS and other viruses.

In the early stage of the epidemic prevention work, material incentives and professional recognition were given to encourage medical staff. Profit-making manufacturers of anti-epidemic materials and nucleic acid testing institutions should be allowed to earn reasonable profits. Only in this way can they attract social capital and other forces to invest quickly, expand their production capacity, and meet the urgent need to fight the epidemic.

And only in this way can they have enough surplus funds to invest in the R&D and promotion of new technologies, products and services, continuously improve their efficiency, and bring technological spillover benefits to other fields since nucleic acid detection methods could be used in biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics and other fields.

The price of China's domestic anti-epidemic materials and nucleic acid testing are set by the government or government procurement pricing. Whether these prices are reasonable or not depends on the government. As long as those nucleic acid testing companies do not use illegal means to bribe the pricing personnel, they should not be blamed.

Moreover, the price of nucleic acid testing in China has fallen rapidly and is far lower than in any other economy due to economies of scale and competition. It now costs less than 20 yuan ($2.86) to have a stand-alone test, while just several yuan to take a 10-in-1 test.

As such it's really untenable to accuse the nucleic acid testing industry in China of fishing for exorbitant profits.

In addition, one needs to take a long-term view of the development of industries. Since the emergence of nucleic acid testing in China, the past three years may be the first time the industry has flourished. Before this was continuous investment and meager profit, even loss for some practitioners.

Besides after the pandemic is over, most of them are most likely to encounter lean times. Therefore, the industry should be allowed to obtain a reasonable return for its previous huge investment and reserve profits for the future.

Indeed not only the nucleic acid testing industry, all people, enterprises, and industries should be allowed and encouraged to accumulate their own savings in good years to tide over difficulties in bad years.

Mei Xinyu, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation

The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

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