20 attorneys general call on 3M to prevent price gouging of N95 masks

A healthcare workers wears an N95 respirator as she consults with a patient who arrives to be tested for coronavirus in Yonkers, N.Y., on April 17. Twenty attorneys general urged 3M to take steps to prevent price gouging on the respirators. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

April 21 (UPI) — The attorneys general from 19 states and the District of Columbia on Tuesday called on 3M to do more to fight price gouging on its N95 respirator masks, part of the critical equipment healthcare workers need to battle the coronavirus pandemic.

In a letter sent to CEO and board Chairman Michael Roman, the states’s top law enforcement officials praised the work 3M has done to boost its production of the face masks. The officials, though, said the Saint Paul, Minn.-based manufacturer should do more to fight price gouging so health facilities, nurses and doctors can better access them.

The attorneys general said their offices have been “flooded” with complaints and “excessive prices” for the respirators.

“As you know, there have been critical shortages of N95 respirators and other [personal protection equipment] due to the increased use and demand worldwide as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the letter reads. “While 3M has committed to maintain the same prices for N95 respirators, others in the marketplace are charging unconscionable prices.”


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