Advocates call out Cepheid for canceling commercialization of the portable point-of-care GeneXpert Omni testing instrument and urge the company to reinstate plans to launch Omni, reiterating demands for Cepheid to reduce the price of GeneXpert tests to $5, inclusive of service and maintenance, across diseases.
On 14 October 2021, the Time for $5 Coalition sent an open letter to Cepheid expressing concern regarding the company’s decision to cancel the launch of the portable point-of-care GeneXpert Omni testing instrument and urged the company to reverse its decision by reinstating plans to commercialize GeneXpert Omni, stressing that “Cepheid has decided to cancel commercialization of Omni without explanation, mitigation plans, or consideration of the impact of this decision on affected communities.”
The signatories emphasized that “Cepheid’s decision to cancel the launch of the point-of-care Omni instrument will leave many people with TB, HIV, HCV, and COVID-19 without access to diagnosis and proper care, and carelessly squander the public resources and time that have supported the development and evaluation of the Omni technology between 2015 and today.”
In the letter, the Time for $5 Coalition again reiterated its request for Cepheid to reduce the price of GeneXpert tests to $5, inclusive of service and maintenance, across diseases.
“More affordable testing in communities closer to the point of care with instruments such as Omni, combined with adequate service and maintenance plans, will be crucial to close the TB testing gap. Taking these actions will show the world that Cepheid is committed to progress to end TB, HIV, HCV, COVID-19, and other diseases.”
The Time for $5 Coalition requested Cepheid to respond to the letter by Thursday, October 28th, 2021.
The Time for $5 Coalition is comprised of more than 150 civil society organizations working across countries and diseases to improve access to rapid diagnostic testing. Since 2019, the civil society Time for $5 Coalition has demanded that Cepheid lower the price of GeneXpert tests to $5 per test across diseases, inclusive of service and maintenance, based on the available evidence of Cepheid’s cost of production of GeneXpert tests. In 2021, the Coalition called on Cepheid to improve access to COVID-19 tests in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) by lowering the price of the tests and increasing the volumes available to LMICs. Cepheid has continued to refuse to reduce the prices of GeneXpert tests to $5 per test for LMICs, to overcharge the global public for these essential tests, and to prioritize making profit over saving lives.
To read the full letter, click here.