Five drugs normally costing $10-$20 were regularly marked up to prices of $200 or more through the gray market was found by an investigation of Congress.  This is scary and sad as a drug that would normally cost $10 goes for as much as $500 on the gray market.  Jay Rockefeller lead the investigation.  The folks on the gray side know when shortages are near or current and seem to get their hands on them ahead of time.  Who gets stuck paying the high prices, hospitals.  None of the gray marketing companies would testify in Congress either as they know what they are doing is not right. 

So what happens, read the link below and see how hospitals are dealing with this and UCLA for example spends over 2 hours a day to find the drugs, whether it be sharing with other hospitals or buying gray market products.  By contrast there’s no shortage of Botox or Viagra.  BD

Drug Shortages Continue–UCLA Spends 2 Hours A Day Checking on Cancer Drug Availability–ASHP Website Lists All Current Shortages

Some US pharmacies are selling their entire inventories to "gray" marketers, who make enormous profits by buying hard-to-find drugs and re-selling them at huge mark-ups, a joint Congressional investigation has found.

Moreover, prescription drugs had leaked into the gray market through pharmacies in 69% of the distribution chains examined for the probe. "Instead of dispensing the drugs in accordance with their professional duties, state laws and the expectations of their trading partners," the pharmacies had resold them to gray wholesalers, says the report of the investigation, which was begun last autumn by Representative Elijah Cummings, ranking member (Democrat) of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

He also noted that that not even the gray market companies are willing to defend this "disgusting and indefensible" form of "price gouging."

"I invited the five companies we looked at in this investigation to testify at this hearing. They all declined my invitation. They know what they're doing is wrong," he said.

- In May, Rep Cummings introducing legislation aimed at lacking the problem. His Gray Market Reform and Transparency Act of 2012 would, among other measures, prohibit wholesalers from buying drugs from pharmacies and create a national wholesaler database that would allow state boards of pharmacy to share information more easily and monitor enforcement actions in other states.

Hat Tip:  PharmaGossip


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