The Attorney General (AG) of Michigan, Dana Nessel, has listed three pharmacies on a Notice of Intended Action (NIA) “following complaints related to an at-home COVID-19 test kit being sold for far more than it should.”

“When purchased online from the manufacturer, iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test currently retails for $17.98 for a package containing two tests and was selling for as high as $19.98 over the past month,” according to a press release from the AG’s office.

One pharmacy listed, Value Center Pharmacy II in Madison Heights, reportedly charged up to $50 for iHealth kits as of December 2021 while Skip’s Pharmacy in Holland charged $80 as of January.

While the notice states that COVID tests will likely cost more at “brick-and-mortar store locations,” it stated these prices “appear to have been made artificially high.”

The third pharmacy named in the press release, Birch Run Drugs in Birch Run, is a pharmacy that shares “common ownership” with the other two pharmacies. Invoices the AG’s office acquired during its investigation show that both pharmacies that allegedly inflated their prices, Value Center and Skip’s, bought their kits from Birch Run.

“...It appears an effort was made to justify the prices being charged by Value Center and Skip's Pharmacy through invoices that do not reflect arms-length transactions,” the AG’s office clarified.

The AG’s office has said that it would prefer not to pursue legal action against the pharmacies named, rather she wants them “to explore a voluntary assurance agreement.”

“We will not stand for businesses exploiting this current wave of COVID-19 cases for monetary gain," Nessel commented. "If you believe the prices for at-home test kits or any other COVID-related item are higher than they should be, please contact our consumer protection team.”

The price-gouging investigation comes as the U.S. government is providing more at-home COVID testing options. As of a January mandate from the Biden administration, private insurance providers must reimburse anyone who buys an at-home test kit, up to $12.