AG’S office cracks down on health care supplier price gouging masks

As the number of complaints of price gouging continues to rise, the Michigan Attorney General’s office took action against a health care industry supplier for pricing face masks unreasonably high.

According to the office of Dana Nessel, the attorney general sent a cease and desist letter to DiaMedical USA Equipment of Bloomfield Hills. A consumer called the office to complain the company is selling 10 packs of face masks for almost $100 each on its website. Similar masks are typically sold for between $1.50 and $2.40 a mask.

(Photo by Mladen ANTONOV / AFP) (Photo by MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP via Getty Images

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“Price-gouging has no place in our health care industry, especially during times of a public health crisis,” Nessel said. “Hospitals, doctors, nurses and other medical professionals depend on this equipment to perform their jobs and take care of people who are sick, and lives should not be put in jeopardy because businesses want higher profits.” 

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The Attorney General’s office reports that as of 7 a.m. Friday, it has received 1,885 complaints of price gouging related to the COVID-19 pandemic. But Nessel’s office credits consumers who have helped police the market by shaming anyone trying to price gouge on social media, sending their receipts and sharing their experiences with the attorney general’s office. 

Consumers can  file a complaint online  or by calling the Consumer Protection tip line at (877) 765-8388 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.