As we all (sadly) know, trying to get an RAT is an absolute nightmare at the moment. Now, some companies are apparently capitalising on that by trying to import RATs that haven’t been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).
Truly nothing like a pandemic to bring the grifters out of the woodwork!
The TGA announced that it’s now working with the Australian Federal Police to investigate allegations that a NSW company used fake documents to try and import unapproved RATs.
A Rat King this is sadly not.
According to the TGA, the fake document in question was a letter pretending to be from Health Minister Greg Hunt.
Apparently, it seemed to give the company an exemption from having to include their product on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods before it was imported. As an explainer, RATs and other medical bits and bobs (the scientific term) have to be registered on the ARTG.
“No special exemption or permission for the supply of unapproved rapid antigen tests has been granted to date and therefore none have been published,” the TGA said in a statement.
At the moment, there’s a load of different types of RAT that you can get in Australia — 23 specifically. They’re also rated on a handy chart, telling you which ones are most sensitive.
A spokesperson for Greg Hunt told The Guardian that the investigation was a matter for the AFP.
“All rapid antigen tests must be approved by the TGA for use in Australia,” they said.
Like, yeah RATs are pretty fkn hard to find, but I’d still rather have approved ones please.
With the government STILL refusing to make RATs free and accessible for all, a number of businesses have been criticised for trying to sell them at inflated prices.
I mean, who could forget the South Australian burger joint flogging two for $50 on UberEats? Free market capitalism, I tell you.
As well as investigating the possible RAT fraud, last week the AFP launched their official investigation into RAT price gouging.
If people get caught reselling them at more than 20 per cent of the OG retail price, they could face five years in prison so take those RATs off Depop, babe.
Honestly, all I want is access to a TGA approved, free, rapid antigen test. Alas that’s apparently too much to ask for.