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AG Nessel Enters Compliance Agreement with Pharmacies Suspected of Price Gouging

By Attorney General Dana Nessel

LANSING â€“ Following a Notice of Intended Action (NIA), Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel reached an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (AVC) agreement with pharmacies located in Holland, Madison Heights, Birch Run, and Bay City addressing complaints related to at-home COVID-19 test kit pricing.  

The NIA, issued in February, noted Value Center Pharmacy II in Madison Heights and Skip’s Pharmacy in Holland were selling the iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test for more than twice – and upwards of four times – the retail price available for purchasing the kits directly from the manufacturer. The NIA also alleged the prices were grossly in excess of what other brick-and-mortar pharmacies in Michigan were charging during the months when the Omicron variant was spreading throughout the country.  

During evidence gathering, the Department discovered the resident agent for those two pharmacies also has a connection to Birch Run Drugs in Birch Run. And, after issuance of the NIA, the pharmacies voluntarily acknowledged a relationship to Maplewood Pharmacy in Bay City.  

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Following amicable discussions, the pharmacies agreed all sales of the remaining inventory of the test kits will be priced at $12.99 per box, except where a consumer’s insurance plan reimburses at a pre-set amount. The pharmacies will also pay $100 each to the two complainants that prompted the Department’s action, as well as $1,000 to the Department to be used as restitution for consumers who can provide documentation showing they paid an excessive price for an iHealth test kit between Dec. 1, 2021, and Feb. 28, 2022 from one of the four pharmacies covered by the AVC.  

Those wishing to be considered for a reimbursement now have 60 days to file a complaint with the Department by filling out the online complaint form. The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Team will then reach out to the consumer for proof of purchase.  

“My Consumer Protection Team continues to secure positive results for Michigan consumers,” Nessel said. “Let it be clearly understood that I will hold accountable businesses that exploit the ongoing pandemic for monetary gain.”  

For more information, the AVC is now available on the Department of Attorney General’s website.    

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