CVS, Walgreens Drop Tamiflu Prices After AG Sends Nasty Letter

Are CVS and Walgreens price gouging on liquid Tamiflu? The attorney general of Connecticut’s office says the AG, Richard Blumenthal, has “received information suggesting that some pharmacies have charged substantially increased out-of-pocket prices for Tamiflu, in some cases as high as $130 or more. He has also heard that some retailers may be purchasing capsules of higher-dosage Tamiflu from distributors and remarketing it as liquid-form lower dosages at greatly inflated prices.”

On Nov. 23, the AG’s office sent letters to CVS Caremark Corporation, Rite Aid Corporation and Walgreen Co. demanding information about their Tamiflu prices from before the flu outbreak. Mysteriously, USAToday is reporting that Walgreens has suddenly dropped its liquid Tamiflu prices by nearly 20% and CVS nearly 10%.

The AG says:

“I will aggressively pursue enforcement action against any company or individual exploiting the current H1N1 flu pandemic or the Tamiflu shortage through price-gouging or other abusive practices,” Blumenthal said.

“Tamiflu price gouging gut punches families economically and medically. Price abuses threaten both public health and consumer pocketbooks as families struggle with economic hardship and inadequate insurance. Such conduct damages all consumers, but especially flu victims with no or limited prescription drug coverage, as well as children and others at higher risk.

“Feverish full-throttle greed is the only explanation and no justification for such price abuses. Such abuses reflect a sickness — an ethical ailment in need of treatment.”

In any case, if your pharmacy is out of liquid Tamiflu, you can actually make it at home.

Attorney General Seeks Tamiflu Pricing Policies From Major Pharmacies [AG CT]
Amid probe, pharmacies cut back on liquid Tamiflu price [USAToday]