Drug Scalpers Target Hospitals

The nation is facing a shortage of critical pharmaceuticals. Enter the price gouger. He stockpiles hard to find medications, then turns around and offers to help hospitals solve their prescription drug shortage problems, at 4,533% markup.

USA Today reports the profiteers buy the drugs from doctor’s offices or get them from distributors. The often fly-by-night outfits then fax, spam and telemarket hospitals, offering to sell their wares at a high premium. A blood pressure drug called labetalol, for instance, usually goes for $25 a dose. The gougers are selling it for $1,200 a dose.

Most hospitals refuse. But enough say yes to make the effort a profitable endeavor, which only ends up further raising health care costs for the rest of us.

Drug shortages lead to price gouging [USA Today]