Watchdog group scrutinizes Utah’s hydroxychloroquine purchase

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – A watchdog group in Utah filed a price gouging complaint over the state’s controversial purchase of hydroxchloroquine.

The group argues the malaria drugs promoted by President Trump to treat COVID-19 were grossly overpriced.

RELATED: Gov. Herbert announces investigation into $800k hydroxychloroquine purchase

Alliance for a Better Utah submitted the complaint with the Utah Department of Consumer Protection against Meds in Motion, the pharmaceutical supplier the state has been working with on the purchase.

READ THE COMPLAINT

ABC4 News obtained the invoice which shows the state agreed to buy 20,000 doses for $800,000. That’s $40 per pack. Alliance for a Better Utah says when comparing that price on GoodRX, it’s up to 10 times more expensive depending on the patient’s situation.

RELATED: Oklahoma, Utah face scrutiny over malaria drug purchases

“That’s what price gouging laws are meant to prevent, is taking advantage of people, or in this case the government, during the middle of a crisis for things that they need, ” said Chase Thomas, executive director of Alliance for a Better Utah.

Alliance for a Better Utah says they don’t know the intent of Meds in Motion, but it hopes this investigation will get to the bottom of it. The purchase has also been criticized as an irresponsible use of taxpayer money, and the governor has since halted any further purchases.

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