Monkeypox testing can cost up to R$450 and plans are not required to cover it;  see what is known

Monkeypox testing can cost up to R$450 and plans are not required to cover it; see what is known

The number of private laboratories in the country they are performing testing for monkeypox virus (monkeypox) is still limited, but the sector estimates that it has already been responsible for identifying more than 60% of positive cases in the country – which already exceed 2,400.

  • Anvisa evaluates two applications for registration for monkeypox test

Unlike rapid tests for Covid-19, health plans NO are obliged, for the time being, to cover the exams, which can reach R$ 450.

According to the National Supplementary Health Agency (ANS), as the offer of tests in the private network is still “incipient” and depends on the testing kits that need to be approved by Anvisa, the tests are not currently included in the list of mandatory coverage by health insurance operators. health.

“It is important to emphasize that ANS is attentive to the health scenario involving Monkeypox (monkey smallpox) and, at an opportune moment, will adopt actions in line with national health policies,” the agency said in a note.

In order to have an overview of the performance of the private sector, the g1 contacted the main clinical analysis laboratories in the country and Abramed (Brazilian Association of Diagnostic Medicine), an entity that brings together around 30 diagnostic medicine networks, and the Brazilian Chamber of Laboratory Diagnosis (CBDL), which represents the of diagnostic importers and distributors.

“Each laboratory is having its speed, but I would say that only the largest are, at this moment, able to do an in-house test. [desenvolvidos pelos próprios laboratórios]. So, something is restricted to a few centers”, says Carlos Eduardo Gouvêa, executive president of CBDL.

CBDL does not have an exact number of private centers, but as Alex Galoro, director of the Abramed Clinical Analysis Committee, explained in a note, at least 8 laboratories linked to the association carry out the test for the diagnosis of monkeypox in the country, which, according to estimates of the entity, represents more than 60% of all exams carried out in Brazil.

In a note, the Ministry of Health reported that, until August 9, the country’s reference laboratories, of the public network, carried out 6,986 diagnostic tests for monkeypox. The number includes exclusively tests carried out on the public network.

Do I need to have a doctor’s order?

In the private network, Galoro also explains that the exams do not need a medical prescription, but that this guidance is important and depends on the patient’s condition. This position was also defended by Gouvêa.

“It’s not a requirement, but it’s recommended,” he says.

Also according to Abramed, the time to obtain the results of the tests usually varies according to the methodology and equipment used, but the execution of the tests takes around 6 to 12 hours. The dissemination of results takes 1 to 2 days.

In a note, Grupo Fleury (associated with Abramed), which operates in the states of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Sul, Paraná, Bahia, Pernambuco, Rio Grande do Norte, Distrito Federal and Maranhão, informed that it makes the test available for the diagnosis of monkeypox through its brands in the states of São Paulo, Paraná, Rio Grande do Sul, and, more recently, in Maranhão (through the local laboratory Inlab).

The tests are being sold for R$ 330 to R$ 450, a value that fluctuates according to the brand of the local laboratory and region.

There is still no commercial record of tests at the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) specific to monkeypox. Therefore, the ones being used were developed by the laboratories themselves – what is called “in-house” development – ​​and cannot be commercialized.

Until the 11th, Anvisa was evaluating six applications for registration of commercial tests for the diagnosis of smallpox in monkeys.

Carlos Eduardo Gouvêa, from CBDL, believes that this approval by Anvisa will be important, as the tests will be cheaper and, consequently, more accessible.

“The diagnostics market is very competitive. With scale and competitiveness, you can have better and better products at lower prices. So, the tendency is for this value, which is restricted to some laboratories and a laborious technology, to be high. little by little the price will drop”, he highlights.

Test positivity in Fleury

In July, the average positivity of the procedures performed by the group was 58.33%. In the last week of the same month (24/07 to 30/07), this rate was 68%. Compared to the first week of July, that number was 18%.

“That’s a very high positivity. Any lab test [com positividade] above 50% is very high”, explains Granato. “Our impression is that the disease is expanding, perhaps because people are still not 100% informed [sobre os sintomas da doença]”.

The infectologist also points out that the group currently analyzes “about 15 to 20 samples a day”, but assesses that the positivity of these tests should not grow much in the coming weeks and that the growing increase is, in fact, a reflection of the long incubation period. virus (up to 3 weeks).

“Between the person being contaminated and realizing that he is sick, we have a certain latency of time. That is why we are seeing more positive people now”, ponders the specialist.

The Sabin Group declared to the g1 that does not inform the prices of the tests, but receives an average of six samples per week and that the results are released within 3 days. The group is associated with Abramed and has units in the Federal District and in the states of Amazonas, Bahia, Goiás, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Pará, Paraná, Roraima, São Paulo, Tocantins and Santa Catarina.

“Samples can be collected at any Sabin unit in Brazil and processed at our plant in Brasília, which has the flexibility to meet demand,” said Graciella Martins, biomedical and manager of the company’s technical-operational center.

O g1 also contacted the Dasa network, and the groups Hermes Pardini and Frischmann Aisengart, who did not respond until the most recent update of this report.

Ministry of Health sets high alert for monkeypox in Brazil

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