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Some Arizona pharmacies overcharging for medications

PHOENIX -- It turns out not all pharmacies in Arizona are charging customers what they said they were.

Throughout November and December, inspectors from the Arizona Department of Weights and Measures conducted unannounced price audits on medications at different pharmacies.

"We wanted to make sure that when they're putting these things on sale, that's what you're paying at the register," said Shawn Marquez, director of the compliance program for the department.

The audit involved scanning more than 950 cold and flu products. Of the 36 businesses inspected, 33 were correctly charging customers for medication. Stores that overcharged customers were fined $600 each.

Despite the fines, Marquez said more companies were undercharging customers than overcharging.

The department also looked at whether or not the prices of pharmacy products were clearly marked on store shelves. Of the 4,407 items audited, 99 percent were in compliance.

Under state law, any item found missing a price or found with a scanning discrepancy must be fixed within 30 minutes or the products are removed from the sales floor.

Marquez said despite the audit's high compliance rate, it's always a good idea to pay attention at the register to make sure items ring up correctly.

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