RITM clarifies circulating news about antigen test kit

MUNTINLUPA CITY—The Department of Health Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (DOH-RITM) clarified news reports from major media outlets stating that the Institute has recently announced antigen test kit evaluation results.

Recent news stories are making the rounds claiming that RITM has publicly announced the evaluation results of STANDARD Q COVID-19 Antigen Test by SD Biosensor. No such announcement happened; as per our standard operating procedure, we forward detailed results of our evaluation activities to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)—the duly recognized regulating body for food, drugs, cosmetics, and devices in the country—for their appropriate action,” RITM Director Celia Carlos explained.

Carlos likewise clarified that the Institute does not implement a “pass or fail” system in evaluating kits. Its efforts are directed towards providing scientific expertise and technical evaluation to appropriate decision-makers, and not to prescribe specific commodities.

The kit evaluation results from RITM is only one source of information. Decision-makers take into account all available data and technical input from other health authorities such as the World Health Organization (WHO),” she said.

While no public announcement did take place, RITM provides a summary of evaluation results for COVID-19 PCR, extraction, antigen, and antibody test kits through its official website after formal reports have been submitted to relevant agencies. This summary is meant to serve the continuous efforts of the Institute to maintain transparency amidst the pandemic.

RITM firmly maintained that its evaluation activities do not serve to endorse companies, manufacturers, distributors, or brands for commercial purposes.