Officials Warn of Price Gouging On Children’s Medication During Shortage
As various types of sickness continue to plague children this season, here in the Hudson Valley, reports continue to come in regarding parents struggling to find cough and cold medicine for little ones.
Severe cases of RSV, flu and COVID continue to rise globally, along with the common cold and strep throat too, so it's no surprise that both prescription medications and over-the-counter cough medicine are in high demand.
With all of this in mind, officials are warning consumers to be mindful and beware of price gouging on children's medications.
Attorney General Cautions Consumers and Businesses of Price Gouging on Children's Medication
Some have referred to this current period of sickness as a 'tripledemic' with the number of children being diagnosed with RSV, flu and COVID continuing to grow and the demand for children's painkillers and fever reduction medications growing with it.
As a result, New York Attorney General Letitia James is cautioning both consumers and businesses of price gouging on such medication products, and she's asking for the public's help.
This year’s tripledemic is keeping many kids and babies sick at home, and families trying to care for them are confronting the national shortage of children’s Tylenol and other medication. The last thing any family needs when a child spikes a fever or is in pain is to be price gouged on the medication they need. I am putting profiteers seeking to take advantage of this shortage on notice. If New Yorkers see big price increases for children’s medication, I encourage them to report it to my office immediately.
Attorney General James, in the issued Consumer Alert, indicated that she is aware of reports of some children's medication being sold at two or three times the retail value, both in stores and online. As a result, New Yorkers are urged to be attentive and report any 'dramatic price increases' to her office through an online report, or via phone at 1-800-771-7755.
When reporting, it is important to have the specific price, dates and location along with the type of medication, and if possible, provide copies of sales receipts and photos of advertised prices.
Here in NY, the law does prohibit businesses from 'taking unfair advantage of consumers by selling goods or services that are vital to their health, safety, or welfare for an unconscionably excessive price,' however, it is not considered price gouging for a business to limit the amount of medication an individual can purchase.
What Types of Medications Are Most In Demand?
The types of products that are most in-demand recently include painkillers and fever reducers like Tylenol, Motrin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin that may be packaged under other general or brand names.
Speaking from personal experience as a mom whose child was recently diagnosed with both strep and Flu A, the shortage is real both here in the Hudson Valley, and with online retailers as well.
After going through what fever reducers and cough medicines I had at home, it took a great deal of shopping around and calls to various local pharmacies and supermarkets in order to find what my daughter needed to help her with her recent diagnosis.
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