CVS chain, Corbett settle

Keith Loria Aug. 17, 2010, 2:00pm


HARRISBURG, Pa. (Legal Newsline) - Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett announced on Tuesday that he has reached a $250,000 settlement with a CVS Pharmacy chain accused of selling expired products.

Those products include over-the-counter drugs, infant formula, baby food, dairy products and other food items. Pennsylvania CVS Pharmacy and White Cross Stores No. 14 agreed to an assurance of voluntary compliance, which requires the store to enact procedures that will prevent future items from being sold once they reach their expiration or sell-by dates.

"Expiration dates are included on various products to ensure that consumers are purchasing items that are effective and safe to use," Corbett said.

"This settlement not only requires CVS to adopt policies designed to prevent expired items from being sold in the future, it will also help community organizations provide much-needed food and medical supplies to low-income families across Pennsylvania."

CVS will pay $150,000 under the settlement to be distributed by the Attorney General's Office to organizations that provide assistance to Pennsylvania families by distributing baby food, infant formula, dairy products and over-the-counter drugs. The remaining $100,000 will go towards future consumer protection and educational activities by Corbett's office.

To ensure that they are not selling expired products, CVS is required by the settlement to inspect dairy products at the stores daily, inspect all items related to allergy treatment, baby feeding, children's remedies, cold remedies, oral hygiene products, pain relievers, stomach remedies and all other over-the-counter drugs that contain expiration dates regularly, and remove any item that is within 60 days of its expiration date.

In addition, CVS must place prominent notices in all stores reminding customers to check the "sell by" and "expiration" dates on all products. CVS must also provide $2 coupons to any consumers who discover expired products offered for sale at any of their stores in Pennsylvania. To receive one, a consumer must alert a CVS employee to the product in the store.

Other safeguards to be put in place include automatic prompts in the cash register system that require cashiers to look at expiration dates before selling certain items and educating store managers and employees to better look for expired products.

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