Frosh, Other AGs Urge 3M to Combat PPE Price Gouging

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh signed on to a letter with 19 other State Attorneys General urging Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) manufacturer 3M to do more to counter price gouging. 

As PPE shortages and supply chain problems continue, price gouging of necessary equipment is increasingly becoming an issue for health care providers and governments. In response twenty State Attorneys General including Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh have penned a letter to 3M, a large-scale PPE manufacturer, to ask that they take further steps to keep PPE prices affordable. The letter thanks 3M for committing to keep their prices for N95 respirator masks the same throughout the COVID-19 crisis, but asks that they take steps to address predatory practices being used by some of their distributors.

From the letter:

While 3M has committed to maintain the same prices for N95 respirators, others in the marketplace are charging unconscionable prices. Our offices have been flooded with complaints from consumers and healthcare providers regarding excessive prices for PPE and other goods since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Attorneys General group asks 3M to (1) make policies on price gouging known, and cease business with distributors who violate them; (2) Create an inventory of N95 masks for government officials and healthcare providers; and (3) divulge how inventory is being distributed.

States to sign the letter:  California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island, and Virginia.

Useful Links:

Letter from State AGs to 3M

Attorney General Frosh press release

Previous Conduit Street coverage:

Procurement Problems Amid Pandemic