Brown warns CVS over expired medications, baby formula

By Chris Amico | Jun 21, 2008

LOS ANGELES (Legal Newsline)-California Attorney General Jerry Brown has called on CVS/Pharmacy outlets to pull expired products from their shelves after a state investigation found stores carrying out-of-date baby food and over-the-counter medications.

While state law doesn't expressly prohibit selling certain expired products, doing so "violates false advertising and unfair business practices statues because CVS/Pharmacy falsely implies that its products meet national quality control standards," Brown said in a statement.

"State investigators found that dozens of CVS pharmacies in Southern California have old and expired products, including medicines and baby food," Brown said. "CVS/Pharmacy should immediately pull these expired products from its shelves and ensure that these consumer safety violations do not occur again."

Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS, a subsidiary of CVS Caremark, says its policy is to remove products from shelves before they reach their expiration date. The company said it will cooperate with the attorney general's office.

The attorney general's office said an undercover shopping investigation found 48 expired products on the shelves of 26 CVS pharmacies in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties. Some of the expired products were four to six months old.

Investigators also found expired food being sold, including milk and eggs. Some of the products' "sell by" dates were hidden with price tags or other store stickers, Brown's office said.

Brown's actions follow a similar investigation in New York, where Andrew Cuomo, that state's attorney general, found more than 250 CVS and Rite Aid pharmacies selling expired products.

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