Introduction: To diagnose a particular illness in medicine, diagnostic test kits are used. These kits usually have necessary materials for monitoring the presence or level of biomarkers in test samples. Diagnosis of certain genetic characteristics such as mutations, deletions and other abnormalities can also be carried out using these kits. For instance, the Indian government has calibrated its testing strategy often after having Covid 19 pandemic based on emerging trends. All of us can remember well the COVID days. Then, the biggest demand was to know whether someone was infected with COVID. A test kit, which can help diagnose a disease quickly is an essential requirement to control and manage disease outbreaks. Government is burdened with the responsibility of diagnosing not only disease outbreaks but also testing the lower income population which rely on the health care services rendered on government hospitals. India has a total of 23581 government hospitals spread across the country. These hospitals purchase a variety of diagnostic test kits. This article analyses the test kits purchased by the government agencies in India during the last year. The Indian Government has adopted diagnostic tests in recent times. Apart from Corona Virus diagnostics kits, other test kits the government has invested in include HIV test kit, Pregnancy test kit amongst others.

Annual Analysis of Diagnostic Test Kit Tender: During the past year, Indian governmental departments released 2577 tenders for diagnostic tests. Uttar Pradesh reported maximum number at 346. Maharashtra had 331 and West Bengal had 171 recorded tenders respectively making them second and third among states with a high number of tender cases during this period. Of these 2577 tenders, 180 tenders were published by All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, which is the top ranked agency in advertising most tenders last year in this regard. Indian Army advertised 165 tenders and ranked second in the list.

Tenders for HIV Diagnostic Test Kit: Last year, the government agencies in India published about 411 tenders for purchase of HIV diagnostic test kits Of these more than 50% are rapid test kits. A few tenders were published which needed to test both HIV and Syphilis. For example, the Health and Family Welfare Department in Delhi advertised a tender for purchase of Dual Rapid Test Kit for HIV and Syphilis. Other types of combo diagnostic kits were published as well. For example, the Medical Education department in Uttar Pradesh invited a tender for the purchase of HIV Combo including HBs, Ag,Anti HBc and Anti HCV. Also, ELISA type of HIV test kits was advertised. In most tenders, HIV test kits were purchased along with other medical items.

Tenders for Covid 19 Diagnostic Test kit: The number of COVID test kits purchased by the government agencies have fallen considerably since the COVID outbreak subsided. Nevertheless, still about 33 tenders were published for purchase of COVID test kits. Most of the tenders advertised were for the purchase of Rapid Antigen Test Kits for Novel Corona Virus (SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19). Also, a few government agencies sought to purchase test kits to verify COVID antibodies. For example, the Indian Army sought to purchase Rapid COVID Antibody test kit in the State of Uttar Pradesh. Also, VTMs were purchased for RT-PCR test for COVID-19 with swab sticks. The COVID test kits were also referred to as COVID RT PCR detection kits in a few cases.

Tenders for Pregnancy Test Kits: Government agencies in India advertised  173 tenders for pregnancy test kits. Of these many of the tenders sought rapid pregnancy test kits. For example, Health and Family Welfare Department in Gujarat published a tender for purchase of pregnancy rapid test kits. Also, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi published a few tenders in this regard. In a few cases, government agencies sought to purchase pregnancy rapid test kits along with Malaria test kids and other medical equipments. Procuring entities often refer to the pregnancy test kits as pregnancy test cards.

Test Kits for other Diseases: Besides the COVID and pregnancy test kits, government agencies sought to purchase test kids for various diseases such such as, Malaria, Dengue, Haemoglobin deficiency and heart related diseases. The Indian council of agricultural research sought to purchase CBNAAT  MTB/RIF PCR test kit. A couple of other types of test kits purchased by the Government are TPHA kit, Cardiac Troponin T test kit and micro PCR MTB test kit. A few tenders were published for purchasing consumables related to testing such as urine test strips, Glucometer strips Hemoglobin Strips and Lipid Profile Strip.

Contract Value for Diagnostic Test Kit Tenders: The estimated contract value for many tenders is not published yet. However, we can still draft an idea from the ones that are published. The estimated value of these tenders usually varies from Rs. 8 thousand up to Rs. 26 crores. For example, Directorate of Agriculture in West Bengal published two tenders with the estimated budget of Rs. 8 thousand and one tender with the estimated budget of Rs. 34 thousand. Whereas, RMSCL – MD in Rajasthan advertised a tender of worth around Rs. 26 crores. Hence, the contract value of these tenders depends upon the type and the quantity of the products.

Live Tenders Analysis: As of March 17, 2024, there were 125 live tenders for diagnostic test kits in India. Among these, Uttar Pradesh rankled top with 32 live tenders (25% of the total number). West Bengal ranked second in the list with 27 live tenders, followed by Maharashtra with 17 live tenders, as per shown in the graph below. Until March 19, 2024, the State government agencies and the Public Sector Undertaking published three  Diagnostic Test Kit tenders. They also published 38 Rapid Test Kit tenders and 200  PCR Kit tenders.

Conclusion: The above analysis shows a very significant and increasing demand in the field of diagnostic test kits. The government agencies are adopting test kits for the wellbeing of the citizens of the country. However, the tenders contain a high estimated budget which highly profitable for the firms interested in these tenders. Also, the growing demand opens up a wide opportunity for them. Hence, the firms seeking for diagnostic test kit tenders must monitor these chances and make an effort to make the most of it.

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