November 2, 2009 / 6:38 PM / 10 years ago

CORRECTED - Connecticut probes flu vaccine gouging complaints

(Corrects RIC in 5th paragraph)

BOSTON, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Connecticut is investigating complaints of price fixing and preferential treatment in the distribution of seasonal flu vaccine, the state’s Attorney General said on Monday.

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s office said it has written to 13 manufacturers and distributors of seasonal flu vaccine, requesting details on price, supply levels and distribution methods by Nov. 15.

Seasonal flu vaccine is in short supply, in part, because distribution has swung to the H1N1 swine flu vaccine.

Blumenthal said his office has received complaints of seasonal flu vaccine being offered at many times the normal price, and of distributors and manufacturers reneging on previously negotiated price agreements.

The vaccine makers contacted by Blumenthal’s office about alleged price gouging were GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK.L); MedImmune Vaccines Inc, a united of Astrazeneca (AZN.N); Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi-Aventis Group SNY.N; and CSL Biotherapies, part of CSL Limited (CSL.AX).

Nine distributors in five states were also contacted.

Reporting by Ros Krasny, editing by Alan Elsner

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