CVS, Rite Aid in hot water with Cuomo

By John O'Brien | Jun 12, 2008


NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - Expired milk, eggs, medicines and baby formula have been being sold across New York, state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said Thursday.

The first-term Democrat said he is taking legal action against CVS and Rite Aid pharmacies, claiming he has evidence that more than 600 expired products -- some more than a year old -- have been purchased by consumers.

Cuomo called it "a shameful disregard for public health."

"(W)hen the products pass their expiration dates, they become ineffective and potentially unsafe, threatening to put our loved ones at risk," Cuomo said.

"These companies allowed personal profit to get ahead of their customers' health."

Cuomo claims 142 CVS stores and 112 Rite Aid stores sold expired products. He has sent both letters expressing his intent to file suit.

Cuomo's investigation of all major drug store chains began in March. He released the results of the probe on his site.

CVS reached a settlement in 2003 with then-Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, agreeing not to sell expired over-the-counter medications.

"This persistent and flagrant defiance of the settlement calls into question CVS's desire to alter its conduct," Cuomo wrote to the company.

"This office takes the disregard of its prior settlements very seriously and intends to seek a full range of penalties and sanctions in order to ensure that this time, a genuine change in CVS's behavior occurs."

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien via e-mail at john@legalnewsline.com.

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