At least 44 pharmacies failed to post drug prices as required by law, New York State Attorney General Letitia James announced on Thursday.
As a result of the investigation, the Attorney General’s Office sent cease and desist letters to the pharmacies found to be in violation, mandating compliance with consumer protection laws that require that pharmacies maintain a list of their prices for the 150 most commonly prescribed drugs.
Pharmacies in violation of these laws were located in: Binghamton, Brooklyn, Buffalo, Nassau County, Northern Manhattan, Plattsburgh, Rochester, Suffolk County, Syracuse, Utica, Watertown, and Westchester County.
State law also mandates that pharmacies update this Drug Retail Price List at least weekly and distribute the list to consumers upon request. A sign must be posted notifying consumers of the availability of the list. The sign is required to be posted in the pharmacy where prescriptions are accepted or dispensed, or in the pharmacy’s waiting area.
“Posting prices of drugs is a basic method of transparency that enables individuals to make informed decisions about their health and their finances,” James said in a press statement.
The state investigation found that pricing between pharmacies for the same exact drug can vary by as much as 300 percent. One drug’s price ranged over $600 between pharmacies.
Over the course of the investigation, the Attorney General’s Office visited more than 100 pharmacies across the state to request price lists and observe compliance with signage. The sweep revealed that 38 percent of pharmacies were in violation of the list and signage law.
The cease and desist letters required the pharmacies to come into full compliance with the law within 15 days of receipt.
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