Regulating the product quality of COVID-19 antigen testing reagents: A tripartite evolutionary game analysis under China's legal framework

Zhengzong Huang, Xi Wang, Zehua Feng, Baoxin Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Personal purchases of novel coronavirus antigen detection reagents (ADRs) for self-detection have contributed to the optimization of medical resources and containment of the COVID-19 pandemic. The recurring occurrence of false testing results in China has generated concerns regarding the quality of ADRs and the testing mechanism for medical devices. Academic viewpoints and remarks on the sensitivity, application possibilities, and product innovation of ADRs may be found in the extant scientific literature. However, the current research does not explore the microscopic product quality concerns that emerge throughout the production and marketing of ADRs. To explore strategic equilibrium circumstances and behavioral evolution processes, an evolutionary game model was developed to include ADR manufacturers, third-party medical device inspection agencies, and regulatory authorities. The results reveal that the quantity of illegal incentives, the cost of regulation, and the loss of government credibility have a major impact on the decisions of regulatory authorities and determine three potential systemic equilibrium states. To maximize social welfare, ADRs should be incorporated into China's medication price monitoring system in order to manage market prices. To cut regulatory expenses, the government should employ blockchain technology for traceable network regulation of ADR product quality. The government should also protect the people's right to free speech and encourage online reporting of adverse incidents caused by ADRs. The conclusions of this article can provide many developing nations with important insights for regulating the quality of ADR products.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1060079
JournalFrontiers in Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jan 2023


  • false testing results
  • inspection agencies
  • law enforcement
  • medical device
  • regulatory authorities


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