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October 15, 2004


State AGs and the flu vaccine shortage

A shortage of something will cause the market price for that thing to rise. Not surprisingly, the shortage of flu vaccine seems to have had this effect. Comes now the attorney general of Florida to police just how high the price can go:

State Attorney General Charlie Crist announced Wednesday that his office filed a lawsuit against a Florida flu vaccine company for alleged price gouging. Crist charged the company with violations of Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act regarding pricing of flu vaccines.

Fort Lauderdale-based ASAP Meds, Inc., doing business as Meds-Stat, is named in the suit.

. . .

Following the announcement of a severe shortage, Meds-Stat sold vials of flu vaccines to a Kansas City pharmacy at a rate of $900 per vial (10 doses per vial). The vaccine is usually priced at $63 to $85 per vial, amounting to a markup exceeding 900 percent.

"This behavior is totally unacceptable, raw exploitation," said Crist. "While millions of Americans will be forced to do without vaccines this year, some businesses are attempting to take advantage of children, the elderly and the frail by unfair and unconscionable business acts. Preying on the fears of the consuming public is not a description of good corporate citizens."

The complaint is available online. The AG of Kansas announced a similar suit against the same company, apparently for the same sale, the day before.

Posted by Michael DeBow at 01:02 AM | TrackBack (1)



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