Ljubljana – The Ljubljana University Medical Centre (UKC) has signed a deal with Majbert Pharm to supply rapid antigen tests at virtually the same cost apiece as the company supplied to the Health Ministry for mass coronavirus testing under a contract signed in December.
Asked about information published on the public procurement portal, UKC Ljubljana told the STA Majbert Pharm had agreed to supply 22,800 tests from March to May at 1.79 euro apiece or 1.96 euro including VAT, which values the contract at EUR 44,594 inclusive of VAT.
In November last year, UKC Ljubljana entered into a year-long tentative agreement to purchase antigen tests for emergency triage with 27 bidders who had submitted acceptable bids. The total value of the public procurement is valued at EUR 2.34 million.
Based on the tentative agreement, UKC Ljubljana awarded a contract to Geneplanet in late December for the period from 10 December 2020 to 10 February 2021 to supply up to 10,000 tests at EUR 3.13 apiece inclusive of VAT or a total of EUR 31,206.
The deal with Majbert Pharm was signed by UKC director-general Janez Poklukar a day before his hearing as a candidate for the new health minister before the relevant parliamentary committee. The plenary will vote on his appointment on Tuesday.
In late December, the Health Ministry picked Majbert Pharm to supply half a million rapid tests at EUR 1.982 apiece, inclusive of VAT, as the bidder offering the lowest price per test. The deal was signed by Tomaž Gantar a day before he stepped down as health minister.
There was considerable controversy about the Chinese-made tests supplied by Majbert Pharm as well as about the supplier, but the Agency for Medicinal Products and Medical Devices found the test kits met national and WHO standards although a batch of swabs had to be replaced after the supplier initially supplied such that could be used for nasal as well as throat collection.
Only nasal swabbing is done be health authorities in Slovenia.