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Letter |

Civil society letter calls on Cepheid to stop overcharging and undersupplying COVID-19 tests for low- and middle-income countries

Photograph by Sophia Apostolia

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cepheid has overcharged and undersupplied COVID-19 tests for low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Ahead of the next round of price negotiations between the COVID-19 Diagnostics Consortium and Cepheid in March, MSF signed onto this open letter from civil society, calling for a US$5 price for Cepheid's COVID-19 test, and for a greater volume of these tests to be delivered to LMICs.

Despite evidence that it costs less than $5 to manufacture GeneXpert tests, Cepheid is charging LMICs $19.80 per COVID-19 test. Also, Cepheid has committed less than 15% of its supply of COVID-19 tests to the Diagnostics Consortium, representing 144 LMICs and more than 80% of the global population, in spite of high demand from LMICs for these tests. It is critical that diagnostics for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases are priced fairly and supplied in sufficient quantities to fully meet the testing needs of LMICs.