Fajar Pebrianto, Jakarta – State-pharmaceutical firm Bio Farma in a House Hearing on Tuesday appeared in front of the House of Representatives (DPR) State-owned Enterprises (SOEs) Commission legislators to answer questions surrounding the costs of PCR testing.
PCR test cost was the centerpiece of Indonesia's political realm due to the high-prices set by healthcare firms that eventually forced the government to impose a upper cost cap of Rp275,000 in Java and Bali and Rp300,000 for other regions.
According to the company, represented by president director Honesti Basyir, Bio Farma takes in 10 percent profit from producing reagents, the major contributor for the cost of PCR testing.
"However, according to our cost structure this might differ slightly depending on laboratories that [conduct the test] and various business models," said Honesti ahead of House legislators on November 9.
Bio Farma is one of the producers who supply PCR reagents after developing it and selling it under the mBioCoy-19 brand since 2020. They claim their product contains 45 percent local components and has produced a monthly 2.4 million of reagents, and will increase it to 5 million tests per month.
In their documents presented to the DPR, Bio Farma breaks down its costs to the following: 55 percent for production and materials, operational costs (16 percent), distribution costs and distribution margins (14 percent), royalti (5 percent), and Bio Farma margin (10 percent).
Costs for reagents produced by Bio Farma changed dynamically from producing PCR Singleplex (BioCov) reagents for Rp325,000 per test services and in October 2021 produced PCR Multiplex (mBioCov) for Rp90 thousand.
Bio Farma also produces viral transport mediums under the brand BioVTM, which is the tube for the swab in a PCR test made from the formula from the United States CDC with 18 percent local content. The company on a monthly basis produces 300,000 tubes and plans to increase it to 600,000 per month.