With a nationwide shortage of Rapid Antigen Tests, we asked local pharmacies about their stocks and the news isn’t good.
The self-testing kits for covid, known as RATs, have been available in the US, Europe and Asia since March.
But Australia has relied on the more expensive PCR testing for covid. With so many people wanting to get tested, the RAT is being sold out in many places.
The Pharmacy Guild of Australia president Trent Twomey said plenty of test kits were on their way to Australia from overseas manufacturers but were unlikely to arrive until late January.
A single test should cost $14.95 for one or $29.95 for two. There are reports of RATs being sold for much more.
Kyogle Pharmacy do not have any tests in stock. They are “very hard to get,” staff said. They usually get 10-20 delivered each week but have currently sold out.
Ritchies IGA sold out of the test kits yesterday and have ordered more but were unable to say when new stocks would arrive.
Scrivener & Webb Chemist have an answering message that says they are sold out of RATs.
McDonalds Pharmacy didn’t answer the phone as all staff were busy,
Bill Williams Chemist is out of stock. A staff member said a lot of wholesalers shut down for the Christmas period making getting the covid tests delivered more difficult. The chemist is expecting delivery of RATs late next week.
Choice Discount Store in Walker St have some RATs in stock. We were unable to contact staff to find out how much they cost.
Coles have five-pack ($50) and two-pack ($30) tests on the shelf but they were “going fast”. A staff member said they couldn’t hold them for customers.
Wooloworths in Casino were unable to be contacted.
Coraki Pharmacy has never stocked RATs.
Evans Head Chempro is expecting RATs to be delivered tomorrow.
Try the Evans Head IGA Supermarket, they may have some left.
Woodenbong Chemist has no RATs but has placed an order and hope to have them in stock next week.