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Jakarta Post

Kimia Farma halts distribution of rapid test kits amid controversy over accuracy

  • Riska Rahman

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, May 13, 2020   /   07:25 pm
Kimia Farma halts distribution of rapid test kits amid controversy over accuracy A health official arranges rapid test kits at the Indonesian Sports Council (KONI) office in Malang, East Java, on May 12. (Antara/Ari Bowo Sucipto)

State-owned pharmaceutical company PT Kimia Farma has temporarily halted the distribution of Biozek rapid test kits following controversy surrounding the kits' accuracy and country of origin.

The publicly listed company said in a statement on Wednesday that it was seeking clarification from the supplier, Dutch firm Inzek International Trading BV, on the kits' manufacturer and accuracy rate following recent findings by Tempo and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).

“Kimia Farma has taken steps to ask for clarification from Inzek on the report and temporarily stop the kits' distribution while waiting for answers,” the company said in the statement.

Tempo and the OCCRP reported that the Biozek rapid test kits were produced in China and not by Inzek as claimed by the Dutch company. The kits were also reported to have a low accuracy rate when detecting the presence of the coronavirus in a patient’s body.

Kimia Farma said that it started to import the test kits in mid-April to be used under the supervision of medical professionals for screening tests on antibodies.

“We then distribute the product to healthcare facilities, diagnostics laboratories and several regional health offices in the country,” it said in the statement.

The product is said to have received the Conformite Europenne (CE) certificate and can legally be traded and commercialized in the European market. Patients that have used the kit are recommended to undergo further testing with a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to get more accurate results.