Maryland AG announces $250,000 settlement with CVS Pharmacy

By Bryan Cohen | Aug 28, 2013

BALTIMORE (Legal Newsline) - Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler announced a settlement Wednesday with CVS Pharmacy Inc. and Maryland CVS Pharmacy LLC to resolve allegations related to patient records disposal and the sale of expired products.

CVS allegedly threw records containing financial and medical information into open dumpsters. CVS also allegedly sold expired products at its Maryland locations, including expired vitamins, infant, children and adult medications, dairy products and baby formula.

"This settlement speaks to the health and wellbeing of all consumers," Gansler said. "Expired products don't belong on store shelves and we know that individuals' personal information, if exposed, could lead to serious problems."

Gansler's Consumer Protection Division alleged that CVS Pharmacy had inadequate procedures and policies to protect consumers' personal information and to prevent the sale of expired products. CVS also allegedly failed to monitor and enforce policies that were in place to protect consumers.

Under the terms of the settlement, CVS will maintain, revise and enforce new policies for the disposal of protected health information, conduct internal monitoring, implement an employee training program for handling and disposing of patient information and report any noncompliance to the division for three years. The agreement also requires the implementation and enforcement of policies to prevent the sale or offering for sale of expired products. For three years, CVS registers will prompt cashiers to confirm that certain products are not expired. For the next two years, CVS will offer customers a $2 discount coupon toward any purchase if a consumer finds and turns in an expired product.

As part of the agreement, CVS will pay the division $250,000 and will hire an outside independent auditor for a three-year period to visit every Maryland CVS location at least once monthly to evaluate compliance with the policies regarding outdated policies.

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