For a few days now, pharmacies in half of Spain have been experiencing a growing shortage of self-diagnostic antigen tests. The proximity of Christmas, the trips and meetings that these dates entail and the significant increase in covid infections in recent days have created a perfect storm and have caused stocks run out in no time, according to different information collected by Xataka.
The lack of self-diagnostic tests is such that the Spanish Medicines Agency has rushed to authorize the sale in pharmacies of antigen tests for professional use for the population, as reported this morning by the Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, during her speech in the control session of the Government in the Congress of Deputies.
The minister stressed that it is a temporary and exceptional measure to meet the enormous demand of these tests that is being experienced in recent days, when its sales have multiplied by “more than a thousand”, he said.
In the last week this shortage has been reported in pharmacies of Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla The Vigo, among others, and the health consultancy Iqvia explained a few days ago to the EFE Agency that sales in the last month had increased by 545%, to touch the 1.5 million tests dispensed.
In parallel, many health centers throughout our country they are reporting of the saturation of Primary Care, long lines and lack of means to perform PCR tests to an increasing number of citizens with symptoms of coronavirus or close contact with a positive.
And in the midst of this shortage, the Community of Madrid has begun today to distribute free antigen tests in the autonomy pharmacies, which has led to long queues forming at the doors of these establishments, according to different sources to Xataka . This measure was approved at the beginning of December and it was scheduled to begin to be applied last week, but the regional government had to delay it, precisely, due to supply problems from suppliers.
Resale at Wallapop
The shortage of antigen tests is reaching such a point that they are beginning to be resold on second-hand goods platforms such as Wallapop at a price well above the usual. In most cases, the ad sell any object of little value, such as pens, and ‘give away’ the self-diagnostic test, as with tickets to sporting events or concerts.
This is because Wallapop and other similar platforms prohibit in their use policies the sale of products that require a prescription or must be dispensed under the supervision of a healthcare professional, including pharmacists.
Thus, with a simple search on Wallapop you can find up to ten advertisements selling pens and ‘giving away’ antigen tests for a price much higher than that of this product in pharmacies. There are also a couple of offers where the tests are marketed directly, without subterfuge.
However, it is likely that this practice will not prosper on these platforms, since at the time this article was written, Engadget has been able to verify that several of the ads that appeared in the first search have been removed, so Wallapop is already moderating them.