Bill Would Make Drug Price Gouging a Federal Crime

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Price gouging on already in short supply would become a federal crime under legislation about to be introduced.

Charles E. Schumer

U.S. Department of Justice authority



Sen. , D-N.Y., said he's proposing a bill that that would give the to crack down on "unscrupulous drug distributors" who sell life-saving prescription medicines in short supply at huge markups.

The problem has been growing this year, as shortages have dramatically worsened for normally cheap generic injected medicines that are the lifeblood of hospitals: drugs for cancer, pain, infections, even liquid nutrition and anesthesia for surgery.

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The shortages are disrupting care of patients and even clinical trials of that must be tested against older standard treatments.

Schumer's bill is to be introduced next week, an aide told the Associated Press. It would allow penalties of up to $500 million for each case of price gouging.

Today, the Senate Finance Committee is set to hold a hearing on reasons for drug shortages.

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Source: The Associated Press; Yahoo News