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Sen. Schumer Calling For FTC Investigation Of 'Gray Market' Drugs

ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer is calling for a federal investigation of so-called "gray market" sales of drugs at inflated prices to hospitals that are facing shortages of some medications.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS' Glenn Schuck reports


Schumer says in recent months, the "gray market" drug resellers are holding hospitals hostage by marking up prices of life-saving drugs as much as 4,000 percent.

"So today I'm calling on the Federal Trade Commission to launch an investigation into possible price gouging of the so-called 'gray market' drug distributors," Schumer said Sunday. "It's simply unconscionable for any drug reseller to purchase an already limited supply of drugs for the simple purpose of turning an outrageous profit."

The New York Democrat says these gray market prices can be hundreds of times the normal costs.

There is a growing national crisis in the availability of drugs for cancer, infections and other serious ailments.

The secondary distributors say they must charge far more because they don't get the big rebates manufacturers give primary distributors. They also have high costs in the legal trade to locate and transport batches of scarce drugs.

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(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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