New York Attorney General Letitia James today cautioned consumers and businesses of price gouging of children’s painkillers and fever reducers as demand increases for those medications due to this year’s “tripledemic” of COVID-19, RSV, and the flu. The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) is aware of reports of children’s medication being sold online and in stores at prices two or three times their retail value. Attorney General James urges New Yorkers to be on alert for potential price gouging of children’s painkillers and fever reducers, including Tylenol, Motrin, and acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin sold under other brand names, and to report any dramatic price increases to her office.
“This year’s tripledemic is keeping many kids and babies sick at home, and families trying to care for them are confronting the national shortage of children’s Tylenol and other medication,” said Attorney General James. “The last thing any family needs when a child spikes a fever or is in pain is to be price gouged on the medication they need. I am putting profiteers seeking to take advantage of this shortage on notice. If New Yorkers see big price increases for children’s medication, I encourage them to report it to my office immediately.”
New York law prohibits merchants from taking unfair advantage of consumers by selling goods or services that are vital to their health, safety, or welfare for an unconscionably excessive price. Due to the nationwide shortage, OAG advises consumers to buy only as much children’s medication as they need and not to unnecessarily stock up as such panic buying may intensify the shortage and could encourage sellers to engage in illegal price gouging. The OAG also reminds consumers that it is not price gouging for retailers to limit the amount of medication they sell to individual consumers.
When reporting price gouging to OAG, consumers should:
- Report the specific increased prices, the dates, and places that they saw the increased prices, and the types of medication being sold; and,
- Provide copies of their sales receipts and photos of the advertised prices, if available.
New Yorkers should report potential concerns about price gouging to OAG by filing a complaint online or calling 1-800-771-7755.