The Department is also committed to preventing hoarding and price gouging for critical supplies during this crisis. To combat this misconduct, the President issued an Executive Order under section 102 of the Defense Production Act, which prohibits hoarding of designated items, and the Department has created the COVID-19 Hoarding and Price Gouging Task Force. In a memo to U.S. Attorneys, it states that “we will aggressively pursue bad actors who amass critical supplies either far beyond what they could use or for the purpose of profiteering. Scarce medical supplies need to be going to hospitals for immediate use in care, not to warehouses for later overcharging.”
The Secretary of HHS has issued a Notice designating categories of health and medical supplies that must not be hoarded or sold for exorbitant prices, including:
- Personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks, shields, and gloves.
- Drug product with active ingredient chloroquine phosphate or hydroxychloroquine HCl
- Sterilization services
- Disinfecting devices
- Medical gowns or apparel
- Read the notice from the Secretary of HHS designating categories of health and medical supplies on scarce materials for more information.
If you have information on hoarding or price gouging of critical supplies, you can report it without leaving your home to the National Center for Disaster Fraud by calling the National Hotline at (866) 720-5721 or by submitting the NCDF Web Complaint Form.