New York City Pharmacy Caught Price Gouging, Charging $50 for Purell

Price gouging during a global pandemic? Amid coronavirus, prices of hand sanitizer are surging shamefully.

A New York City pharmacy has been caught price gouging amidst heightened fears due to the coronavirus outbreak. Metro Integrative Pharmacy on the Upper East Side was caught red-handed by ABC7 investigative reporter Nina Pineda, who, according to a receipt presented on Twitter, purchased three 8-ounce bottles of Purell hand sanitizer priced at $50 each. That's a 2,000 percent increase from the normal $2.50 price that's usually attached to a bottle of this size.

Sports business reporter Darren Rovell shared an image of Pineda's receipt on Twitter:

Concerns over the coronavirus outbreak have emptied shelves at grocery stores and pharmacies across the nation, as individuals prepare for what may be a few weeks of self-quarantine to avoid contracting COVID-19.

It has been nearly impossible to find hand sanitizer in New York City drug stores and markets, which makes the relative value of whatever supply does currently exist skyrocket. Even online retail outlets like Amazon, Walmart, and Target are entirely sold out of the product.

There are laws, however, that prevent companies from raising prices so dramatically based on health concern needs. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has gone after the rampant price gouging from online outlets that have irresponsibly raised prices amid the global pandemic. According to some reports, hand sanitizer sales have more than doubled over the past few weeks.

New York State is investigating price surges on emergency products needed to combat coronavirus and is introducing new legislation that allows the attorney general to penalize any business raising prices by more than 10 percent during a crisis. And for more on protecting yourself, check out 17 Small and Easy Ways to Prevent Coronavirus.

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