Rats $23.99 now, drops in price likely

Wanaka Pharmacy was selling a single rapid antigen test for more than $20 yesterday, but prices...
Wanaka Pharmacy was selling a single rapid antigen test for more than $20 yesterday, but prices are expected to come down soon. PHOTO: MARJORIE COOK
Rapid antigen tests are hard to come by in Wanaka and the price for a single test was more than $20.

Wanaka Pharmacy was able to source a shipment early but the cost of a test yesterday was $23.99

Owner Aaron Heath said the pharmacy had sold most of the 500 it had in stock. More were expected from today, and prices should drop.

Medical practices also had Rats on hand yesterday, but only for patients with Covid-19 symptoms.

More were expected to come soon to other Wanaka pharmacies, supermarkets and stores, within the next week.

Wanaka Mitre10 Mega general manager Mark Watson said he hoped their order would be delivered today. He said they would be selling the tests at $8.50 each, with a limit of six per customer.

Mr Heath explained that prices had ranged in a spread, depending on when orders were placed, what delivery methods were chosen and other supply chain variables.

His order arrived in the first shipment, which had been supplied at a premium price because it had been tagged as an urgent airfreight delivery.

The order was placed with other businesses and he said he did not think his prices were dissimilar to what others who received tests from the first shipment were now charging.

Those businesses who had placed the first order had "paid through the nose", he said.

Mr Heath said he understood other businesses had not requested urgent deliveries, so they could save on wholesale prices, but that also meant their tests would take a little longer to arrive.

He hoped another 500 to 700 tests would arrive in Wanaka between Friday and Monday.

"There will be rationing," he said.

Doing business under Covid-19 was challenging and the Government had not been clear about when and how the tests would be introduced, he said.

"We don’t know what demand will be like. Everyone is a bit uncertain. The market is a weird place at the moment," he said.

He expected the prices to drop and stabilise as more tests entered the country.

"Wholesale prices for the second and third shipments into the country are probably going to be 40% less than the first shipment that arrived," he said.