Fulton Drugs is one of two pharmacies in the city found to have improperly charged New Yorkers hundreds of dollars in phony vaccination fees.
According to State Attorney General Letitia James, Fulton Pharmacy, located at 1548 Fulton St., and Embassy Pharmacy in Manhattan were wrongfully charging vaccine administration fees during 2021.
Fulton Drugs, she said, charged around 175 people a fee of either $20 or $25.
Jame said Monday that she had secured reimbursements for all those wrongfully charged the fee, following an investigation spurred by reports from New Yorkers first launched in March 2021.
James said that while vaccination providers can get reimbursement from a recipient’s health plan or from the Health Resources and Services Administration’s COVID-19 Uninsured Program for those who are uninsured, providers cannot charge a vaccine recipient.
By imposing a vaccine administration fee directly to consumers, Embassy and Fulton engaged in deceptive acts and practices that violated state business laws.
“Make no mistake: COVID vaccines are free to all who seek them,” James said.
“New Yorkers should not be charged fees to receive the vaccines. If they are, my office will work to ensure they are reimbursed for the charges.”
The agreements reached by James ensures that all those that paid the vaccine administration fee have been reimbursed and the pharmacies have immediately changed their practices to stop charging the vaccine administration fee.
Additionally, the pharmacies have agreed to institute new requirements that strengthen training for all staff involved with the administration of COVID-19 vaccines, as well as signage requirements associated with vaccine administration, James said.
Bed-Stuy Councilmember Chi Ossé said stronger training for the pharmacy staff was an encouraging measure to stop the mistake from being repeated.“Cost barriers for vaccination are incredibly dangerous, even when applied by mistake.”