Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT)

Despite the charges of price gouging the only estimate, I have seen, of the cost to produce RATs is about $2/test. Could Choice look at the manufacturing cost/wholesale price/retail price/rip off price chain?


Manufacturing cost is only one component of a supply chain cost. When other real costs are added, the cost to put on the shelf for purchase in considerably more.

The same applies to every consumer product purchased.

Even if the Government say nationalised the manufacturer and supply of Rats, the shelf price would be similar (it could be argued even more due to inherent inefficiencies of government).


Some circumstantial evidence about gouging was published by Choice.


Someone on Reddit (in https://reddit.com/r/coronavirusdownunder) was asked for $90 for one test. Now that is a gouge.


Especially when in Singapore!

Note S$1 is approx AU$1

I recognise Roche, one brand mentioned in the news article as also available in Australia.

Unity currently offers four brands of ART kits: Roche, SD Biosensor, Panbio and Quickvue. Depending on the pack size and brand, the price of one kit ranges from S$5.25 to S$8.85, said a FairPrice spokesperson.

These are single kit prices. Multipacks are typically cheaper per test. How much ‘The Australia Tax’ adds is always an unknown. There are initially additional costs to meet Aussie TGA requirements ($100,000’s), the costs are recovered across millions or tens of millions of sales. A few cents per RAT test.

The Singapore use of the Acronym ‘ART’ for Antigen Rapid Test, and passing the ART test seems so much more alluring than being a positive RAT. :wink:


The ACCC has released an updated report on the cost of RAT kits (wholesale $3.95 to $11.45) and over 1800 consumer reports of excessive pricing.

The Media is offering opinions on whether anything will happen in response to change the situation. They vary, so best to wait and see.


A bit of arm waving? It will be interesting to read about anyone being prosecuted and fined, especially for more than their profits.

RAT price gouging reports referred to AFP, consumer watchdog says →


Further updates on RAT gouging:


A point of comparison between the US and AU. While we suffer shortages and price gouging the US has already rolled out a program.

No level of (in)competent planning or diddling about is too good for us, apparently.

and a survey of other countries…


RATs might be superseded in the near future if this passes scrutiny.


I was looking forward to some free RAT kits, but miss out on qualifying for some reasons. Fortunately I can claim any purchased as a tax deduction. Of course that assumes I’m expecting to pay tax this FY.

The outcome if paying tax at higher rates is a small benefit. For lower tax paying income earners, the saving of 19c in the dollar is $2.85 on each $15 RAT purchase. Buy two and with the savings buy a coffee. I feel better now! (satirical observation if not evident).


But wait on a minute. The RAT would only be tax deductable if it was a requirement to test, and be negative, before going to a workplace. Work from home? Going to school? Not a deduction.
But in any case, there is no tax legislation in place to enable this deduction, so it is just talk.
Maybe a tax change will pop up with the Budget. But the only thing that needs approving before Parliament is disolved and elections called is one or more supply bills to keep the public service going past 30 June.

That’s correct…not yet…

I thought they may have been able to use a ATO public ruling, rather than new legislation or a legislative amendment.

That seems to be the general guidance at this stage. If it is a requirement of the workplace (demonstrated that a test is needed to attend work and part of a WPH&S plan for example), it is likely to be treated like sunscreen or PPE. Where required, deductible. Where not required by the workplace and/or for personal use, not deductible. As the ATO has advised, keep receipts until such time it has been resolved.

The advice in rulings can only reflect the law as it stands, this is why a law change is required.

Further details of the proposals are included on the Assistant Treasurer’s website (see below quote). Noting that it makes the expected references to hard-working Australians and the Government acting swiftly.

" The Morrison Government is taking action to ensure that COVID‑19 tests (including Polymerase Chain Reaction and Rapid Antigen Tests) are tax deductible for hard‑working Australians, and exempt from fringe benefit tax for businesses, where they are purchased for work‑related purposes.

To remove any doubt, the Government will introduce legislation to make clear that work‑related COVID‑19 test expenses incurred by individuals will be tax deductible. This applies both when an individual is required to attend the workplace or has the option to work remotely.

By introducing this legislation, the Government will also ensure that fringe benefit tax will not be incurred by employers if they provide COVID‑19 testing to their employees for work‑related purposes.

This change will take effect from the beginning of the 2021‑22 tax year and will be in place permanently.

This action recognises that COVID‑19 tests are an important tool for mitigating transmission risks and absences from the workplace.

The Morrison Government has acted swiftly throughout the pandemic to provide Australians and small businesses with clarity and certainty, and continues to do so as they transition back to their workplaces."

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Dorothy Dix and her mates seem alive, well, and prospering with SAU (spin as usual).

Can’t get free tests (am eligible) because neither of the local pharmacies have them (or perhaps are unwilling to give them, at a loss to them)… and won’t qualify for a tax deduction because I am no longer taxed. When my previous source of RATs (wish I bought more than one box) has them again, they will be $21 more expensive… or more… they are currently listed at $21 more (but no stock) so that works out at just over $10 each which is still not bad. The link will take you direct to the tests page.

[Edit]. I tell a lie, costs are down, I bought 2SAN tests a box of 7 for $55 originally. They are now $60 which isn’t a terrible increase. They also have Hough tests as well