Peter C. Harvey, Attorney General  
Division of Consumer Affairs
Reni Erdos, Director
 
For Immediate Release:
October 25, 2004
For Further Information Contact:
Jeff Lamm, Genene Morris, 973-504-6327

Attorney General Urges Hospitals, Clinics,
Pharmacies and Consumers to Report Flu Vaccine Price Gouging

TRENTON – Attorney General Peter C. Harvey – who previously asked the Division of Consumer Affairs to investigate whether price gouging is occurring in New Jersey regarding the sale of flu vaccine – today urged all hospitals, health clinics and others who administer the vaccine, as well as consumers who receive it, to contact the Division’s Office of Consumer Protection if they have information about vaccine distributors or providers who have raised prices unjustifiably.

Attorney General Harvey said his office will investigate any reports of profiteering during the ongoing flu vaccine shortage and will take action if a distributor or provider is found to have broken the law.

"During this shortage, people should come together for the public good," Attorney General Harvey said. "Instead, we’re hearing nationally about some distributors with supplies of flu vaccine who are only thinking of enriching themselves by raising prices.

"We will not tolerate profiteers," Harvey added. "Flu shots are needed for the elderly and others who are at risk. We will do all we can to make sure the available supply goes where it is needed, not where the highest price markups can be had."

"Good health is a blessing, not a commodity to be dispensed to the highest bidder," Consumer Affairs Director Reni Erdos said. "The flu vaccine is needed first and foremost by those at highest risk, not those willing to pay the most to obtain the vaccine."

Incidents of suspected price gouging can be reported to the Office of Consumer Protection at 1-800-242-5846 (within New Jersey) or 973-504-6200.

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Posted October 2004