Statement from Roche Diagnostics on supply of the SARS-CoV-2 test and material

Media Announcement

Roche Diagnostics Belgium

March 27, 2020 

 

Roche understands the enormous global demand for novel coronavirus tests in light of the World Health Organization’s pandemic declaration.

We have therefore developed the first SARS-CoV-2 high-speed test in record time and have again in record time achieved approval by the regulators around the world just two weeks ago. We have further increased production and are working 24/7 to deliver as many tests as even possible. Millions of these new high-speed tests have been made available in a variety of countries and not only in Italy as has been mistakenly stated in certain Belgian media.

Some Belgian media also reported the news that Roche Diagnostics Netherlands is not providing enough test material to laboratories and asked Roche to publish the recipe for one reagent, called lysis buffer solution.
We clearly state that this story is not reflecting the reality.

We cannot confirm the shortage of Roche’s lysis buffer solution as of today. There is no patent protection on lysis buffer itself. Anyhow, Roche will not guarantee safety and reliability of the quality and test results if the reagents required for the test are manufactured outside our own production network as well as those qualified production sites we are already working with. Safety and reliability of our components have been approved by regulatory authorities. 

 

For its part, Roche remains committed to delivering its coronavirus tests to areas where they can be immediately effective. Tests will be shipped from our production sites to locations where appropriate infrastructure is in place and testing can begin without delay.

Fortunately, more and more other companies are in the meantime also offering and delivering tests. While these tests represent a significant response to the coronavirus emergency, demand for tests (and ancillary healthcare equipment), will exceed supply for the foreseeable future. As infection rates continue to rise, all healthcare systems must develop a prioritisation strategy for medical tests, supplies and therapies, as well as a comprehensive approach to managing increased patient populations while protecting medical professionals. Our strong recommendation is: Use the available tests only for those who show clear symptoms.

Throughout the world, there is intensive cooperation among industry, customers, non-profits, governments and regulatory bodies to ensure we support where we can to contain the coronavirus. On the one hand, by testing those who are infected, on the other hand, by developing medicines that help COVID-19 patients.

This is also, what Roche is making happen in Belgium. Dealing with the outbreak takes a unified effort of all players in the healthcare system as addressed by the taskforce of the government. Roche is committed to supporting the Belgian Authorities and Experts in the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak and to speed up testing capacity.

 

If you need more information, please contact Christel Van Weert via vilvoorde.reputationmanagement@roche.com