To realize the government's wish to make swab tests accessible to more Indonesians, state pharmaceutical producer and distributor Kimia Farma has become among the first to slash test prices, including that of the PCR test, which has been reduced by almost half.
Starting Aug. 17, Kimia Farma labs in Jakarta, Bandung, Semarang, Medan, and Makassar are charging IDR495K for a PCR swab test.
As ordered by President Joko Widodo, the Health Ministry previously lowered the price ceiling for PCR tests from IDR900K to IDR495K in Java and Bali and IDR525K outside of the two islands.
But the price reduction for COVID-19 diagnostic tools is not limited to PCR tests, as Kimia Farma now charges IDR125K for a Abbott-Panbio brand antigen test and IDR85K for all other antigen tests.
Kimia Farma has not announced when the price reductions will be applied in other regions, though they are expected to follow soon. Kimia Farma is also expected to be the benchmark for other labs' swab test prices.
In fact, some major private labs, such as Bumame, have also lowered their PCR test price to IDR495K in the Greater Jakarta Area and Bandung. In that price tier, however, the result would be available within 24 hours – those in a rush would still have to fork out more for faster results.