New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says the new Office of Pharmacy Benefits is investigating big price increases for six drugs connected to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government is looking into price increases for treatments that went up by, on the low end, around 60% to over 1,350% for one drug during the pandemic.

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News
Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News

The Department of Financial Services says a formulation of Vitamin C that goes into IVs manufactured by McGuff Pharmaceuticals went up in price 110% about a week after clinical trials were announced for using the drug as a treatment of COVID patients with severe symptoms.

A steroid treatment produced by Cipla USA, Incorporated had its price increased by over 1,350% in the middle of the first wave of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and right after the announcement of clinical trials.

Another steroid treatment made by Nubratori had a price increase of over 65% at the start of the pandemic  and right after China announced treating patients with the drug.

A drug for treating gastrointestinal side-effects of therapies used by HIV patients that was being tried out in an attempt to also help COVID patients saw its price increase 230%.

The price of a morphine treatment made by Hikma Pharmaceutical suddenly went up almost 60% while other similar treatment prices only went up by modest increments during the early months of the pandemic.

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And the famous treatment hawked by former president Donald Trump, Chloroquine Phosphate, got a big markup of 97.8% from Rising Pharmaceuticals on the heels of those presidential unsubstantiated claims of success treating COVID patients.

The State says it is merely investigating the claims and it has not been determined if the price increases were actually justified.

For more information or to report a drug price spike, go to the Department of Financial Services website.

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