Westmoreland Co. pharmacy accused of price gouging during pandemic, must pay back customers

JEANNETTE, Pa. — A Westmoreland County pharmacy is accused of taking advantage of customers during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Medicine Shoppe in Jeannette is accused of price gouging by selling masks and 2 oz bottles of hand sanitizer for unlawful prices, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said, but the president of the pharmacy told Channel 11 the AG isn’t taking the inflated wholesale prices into consideration.

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The pharmacy entered into an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance with the attorney general’s office after getting tips of price gouging.

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The Medicine Shoppe is accused in at least 267 transactions where masks and hand sanitizer were sold for more than 20% above the average price.

The pharmacy president said it cost him more to buy those products from wholesalers because they weren’t available or were in very low supply. He said he actually charged less than what the company’s websites suggested.

The AVC requires The Medicine Shoppe to pay restitution to all consumers who purchased the N95 masks, KN95 masks, or 2 oz bottles of hand sanitizer at excessive prices.

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The Medicine Shoppe also agreed to fully comply with all provisions of the Pennsylvania Price Gouging Act moving forward.

“We are still in a state of emergency, and for as long as that remains the case, Pennsylvanians have a right to purchase lifesaving goods at reasonable prices,” Shapiro said. “I want to encourage Pennsylvanians who see suspicious price increases on products like groceries and medicine to contact my office.”

You can report price gouging by filing a complaint with the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office HERE.