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Warning issued on flu vaccine price gouging

OLYMPIA - Washington state's Attorney General's office is urging consumers, merchants and health care providers to be on alert and immediately report suspected price gouging for the flu vaccine.

So far, the state office has received at least two reports from Grant and Pierce counties about overpriced flu vaccine.

An administrator at the Grant County Health District told state officials she was offered the flu vaccine at a price of $400 to $600 per vial from pharmaceutical distributor Meds-Stat, also known as ASAP Meds in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The Grant County Health District normally pays between $67 and $85 per vial.

The Kansas Attorney General filed a price gouging suit against Meds-Stat this week, claiming one Kansas City pharmacy was charged $900 for a 10-dose vial, which is more than 10 times the original market value.

Washington consumers or retailers who suspect they are being overcharged for flu vaccine are encouraged to report it by calling 1-800-551-4636.

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