Rite Aid agrees to settlement over expired products

Nick Rees Dec. 4, 2008, 4:42pm

Andrew Cuomo (D)

NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) -- A national retail pharmacy chain has reached a settlement with the state of New York that will end the sale of expired products in its stores across the state.

The $1.3 million settlement with Rite Aid, the result of an undercover investigation across the state, will stop the sale of expired over-the-counter drugs, baby formula, milk and eggs.

Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo's investigation found 122 Rite Aid stores selling expired products earlier this year.

"In today's difficult economic times, consumers should not be spending their hard earned money on expired products that may be harmful to themselves or their children," the Democratic attorney general said. "Today, Rite Aid has demonstrated its commitment to addressing the serious health risks posed by expired products and to ensuring that consumers get the quality products they pay for. I commend Rite Aid for its cooperation with our office in resolving the concerns raised by our investigation."

Rite Aid, as part of the settlement agreement, will immediately pay a civil penalty of $1 million and an additional penalty of up to $300,000 if terms of the agreement aren't met over the next three years.

Rite Aid must also institute protocols ensuring that its shelves are not stocked with expired products. The stores must also institute weekly inspections and, for a period of three years, undergo internal compliance checks for expired products. Stores that fail the compliance checks will face a $2,500 fine.

A total of 148 CVS stores were also found to be selling expired products during the attorney general's investigation.

Legal action by the attorney general is continuing against CVS, which has not addressed the problems. CVS has been found to be selling expired medicines and baby formula as recently as this week.

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