This week, Attorney General Bill Sorrell is attending the annual meeting of the National Attorneys General Association in Florida. Sorrell and a number of his colleagues want to know why the price of many generic drugs has increased dramatically in a very short period of time. In some cases, prices have jumped as much as 1,000 percent overnight.
Sorrell says the first step is taking an inventory of generic drug prices over the past six months.
"What I've promised to do is do a little more digging in Vermont,” said Sorrell. “And then get a conference call together of AG offices that are interested in the issue and see how we might go forward collectively."
Last week, representatives of the three largest generic drug companies refused to come before a Senate subcommittee to discuss this issue. Sorrell says the Attorneys General have other legal remedies to get the information they need.
"If there isn't compliance with our requests for information then we can seek court order authority to compel cooperation with our investigation,” said Sorrell.
Rich Harvie is a co-owner and pharmacist at Montpelier Pharmacy. He urged Sorrell to investigate this issue to force the drug companies to address these enormous price increases.
"That's why they need to look into this because this makes no sense at all,” said Harvie. “And it's not that I'm anti-business because I'm in business, and you have to make a profit. But this sure seems like gouging to me."
Attorney General Sorrell says he'll also ask Vermont lawmakers to support his plan to expand the state's False Claims Act which would give him greater authority to investigate cases of price collusion.