MPs in favor of forcing pharmaceutical to release recipe for coronavirus test

Tweede Kamer
The Chairman's seat at the Tweede Kamerphoto: JanKranendonk / DepositPhotos

Several parties in the lower house of Dutch parliament are in favor of forcing pharmaceutical company Roche to release the manufacturing process and recipe of the coronavirus test they make, if this is necessary. This would make it possible for tests to be produced in the Netherlands, NOS reports.

There is a shortage of tests to diagnose Covid-19 in the Netherlands, Minister Hugo de Jonge of Public Health confirmed in a letter to parliament. He also confirmed that one of the limitations is the availability of a proprietary lysis buffer fluid produced by pharmaceutical firm Roche for use with its machines. “Technically, we can manufacture this ourselves, but this is subject to regulations, and we must make agreements about this with the manufacturer,” he said.

On Thursday Roche announced that it is increasing production. There is also another company that can provide coronavirus tests, according to the broadcaster. But the PvdA, CDA, and GroenLinks still want to increase pressure on the manufacturer, they said during a parliamentary debate on the coronavirus on Thursday.

Most MPs who spoke during the debate criticized the government's communication of new measures. There was much confusion after Prime Minister Mark Rutte and other Ministers announced new measures on Monday, to the extent that the government had to clarify what was meant twice - first regarding the ban on gatherings, and then regarding which measures are in place until when. "Be clear about what you expect from us Dutch," PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher said.

Most parties in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, are satisfied with how the government is dealing with the Covid-19 crisis. Though there are still concerns about the availability of protective equipment, the number of ICU beds, and the increase in test capacity.

Only PVV leader Geert Wilders still insisted on a stricter lockdown in the debate on Thursday. "The package of measures is now a lot stricter, but it is complicated. Why don't we just let everyone stay at home for the time being?" He wanted to know.