Alliance for a Better Utah files price-gouging complaint after state’s controversial chloroquine purchase

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert. File photo: News conference screen shot

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, April 28, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — The Alliance for a Better Utah has submitted a price-gouging complaint with the Utah Department of Consumer Protection against Meds in Motion.

The northern Utah pharmaceutical company reportedly charged the Utah State Government $800,000 for 200,000 doses of an anti-malaria drug.

Alliance for a Better Utah, a nonprofit organization that “that holds politicians accountable and advocates for progressive policies that make Utah an even better place,” its website says, reportedly filed the complaint on Tuesday.

The complaint says the seven-tablet course of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine was inflated by more than 600%.

Scientific research has since cast doubt on the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine in treating COVID-19, the purpose for which Utah made the purchase. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert addressed the issue at a news conference last week, said attorneys for the state would be examining any legal avenues the state might have to cancel the purchase.

Chase Thomas, Executive Director of the Alliance for a Better Utah, wrote the filed complaint.

“The CEO and founder of Meds in Motion, Dan Richards, has been publicly advocating the use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 and actively lobbying the state to purchase the drugs from his company,” Thomas wrote.

“According to reporting conducted by The Salt Lake Tribune’s Robert Gehrke, the cost of these drugs purchased by the state was inflated by more than 600% at $40 per course (seven tablets).”

The complaint says 60 tablets could be purchased with a free GoodRx discount for $14.95 at Smith’s Pharmacy.

“If the Department of Consumer Protection finds that Meds in Motion engaged in price gouging, we hope appropriate action will be taken,” Thomas wrote.

“Irresponsible and abusive business practices must not be allowed to continue, and especially not ones that take advantage of a public health crisis.”

See the full complaint below:

Utah Consumer Protection Letter_ Price Gouging


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