HARRISBURG―Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced that the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General has shut down price gouging efforts at Paoli Pharmacy in Chester County.
“We won’t tolerate illegal price gouging during this emergency, and we’re taking action every day to stop it—here in Chester County and across Pennsylvania. Pennsylvanians need security and financial protection right now, especially when so many have lost wages and 30 percent of our residents are out of work.” said Attorney General Shapiro. “You have a right in Pennsylvania to purchase life-saving goods at reasonable prices whether in store or online. If you see suspicious price increases on products like groceries and medicine, I encourage you to email email@example.com and fill out a complaint form so we can put a stop to price gouging.”
The Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General entered into an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (AVC) with Paoli Pharmacy after the Office received tips alleging that the store was selling facemasks for unlawful prices. The Office learned that Paoli Pharmacy sold approximately 100 individual N95 masks in ziplock bags for as much as $25 per mask.
Under the Price Gouging Act, a price increase of more than 20 percent during a declared state of emergency is considered price gouging. The AVC requires Paoli Pharmacy to pay $5,300 in civil penalties, in addition to restitution of $1,946.50 for consumers who purchased the facemasks. Paoli Pharmacy also agreed to fully comply with all provisions of the Pennsylvania Consumer Protection Law and Price Gouging Act moving forward.
Consumers who purchased N95 face masks from Paoli Pharmacy may be eligible for restitution if they paid more than they should have. In order to be considered for restitution, consumers should file a consumer complaint form and attach a copy of their receipt showing they purchased the facemasks between March 6, 2020 and July 7, 2020. Complaints must be submitted by September 4, 2020 to be considered.
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