Sen. Schumer asks FTC to probe gray market mark-ups in drug shortages

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the gray marketers that appear to tack on hundreds- and even thousands-percent increases to hospitals for drugs in short supply. "It's outrageous. It's immoral. It has to stop," said Schumer, as quoted by the New York Daily News.

He wants the FTC to look for price gouging among some of the secondary distributors for the chemotherapy and heart medications that are experiencing shortages, says NorthJersey.com.

The distributors say they "must charge far more because they don't get the big rebates manufacturers give primary distributors," NorthJersey also reports. They say they also have "high costs in the legal trade to locate and transport batches of scarce drugs."

Schumer's request comes on the heels of U.S. Rep Elijah Cummings contacting suspected gray marketers to find out more about consistent high markups in the hundreds of percent.

- here's the Daily News story
- see the NorthJersey.com item

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