Price Gouging at Westmoreland County Pharmacy, Consumers Get Money Back

Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced that the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General has shut down price gouging efforts at The Medicine Shoppe in Jeanette, Pennsylvania.

“Since March my office has been hard at work holding those who would take advantage of the pandemic to make a profit accountable. Our work has not slowed or stopped. We are still in a state of emergency, and for as long as that remains the case, Pennsylvanians have a right to purchase life-saving goods at reasonable prices. I want to encourage Pennsylvanians who see suspicious price increases on products like groceries and medicine to contact my office.”

The Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General entered into an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (AVC) with The Medicine Shoppe after the Office received tips alleging that the store was selling masks and 2 oz. bottles of hand sanitizer for unlawful prices. The Office learned that The Medicine Shoppe engaged in at least 267 transactions in which it sold N95 Masks, KN95 Masks, and 2 oz. bottles of hand sanitizer in excess of twenty percent (20%) of the average price at which the same or similar products were obtainable in the affected area seven (7) days prior to March 6, 2020.

Under the Price Gouging Act, a price increase of more than 20 percent during a declared state of emergency is considered price gouging. The AVC requires The Medicine Shoppe to pay restitution to all consumers who purchased the N95 Masks, KN95 Masks, and/or 2 oz. bottles of hand sanitizer at excessive prices.  The Medicine Shoppe also agreed to fully comply with all provisions of the Pennsylvania Price Gouging Act moving forward.

Consumers who purchased N95 Masks, KN95 Masks, and/or 2 oz. bottles of hand sanitizer from The Medicine Shoppe in Jeanette may be eligible for restitution if they paid more than they should have.  In order to be considered for restitution, consumers should file a consumer complaint form and attach a copy of their receipt showing they purchased the masks and/or hand sanitizers between March 6, 2020 and September 9, 2020.  Complaints must be submitted by November 9, 2020 to be considered.