Office of Attorney General Reaches $450K Settlement with CVS Chains in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane’s office yesterday announced a $450,000 consumer protection settlement with Pennsylvania CVS Pharmacy, L.L.C. The settlement follows allegations the company violated a 2010 agreement in which it agreed to address concerns related to the sale of expired over the counter drugs, infant formula and dairy products.

The settlement is the result of an investigation by the Office of Attorney General’s Health Care Section, which also worked on behalf of consumers on the 2010 agreement. The settlement was filed today in the form of a consent decree.

The 2010 agreement, reached in the form of an assurance of voluntary compliance, called for CVS stores in Pennsylvania to institute a system to ensure that expired products were not sold. Agents with the Office of Attorney General conducted a compliance check to determine whether CVS was violating the agreement.

Agents allegedly reported finding expired products, including infant formula and drugs made for children, at five of the six CVS stores they visited. CVS employees in two cases also allegedly bypassed a register prompt that was designed to prohibit the sale of expired products.

The settlement requires CVS to provide customers with a $3.50 coupon if they find an expired product in a CVS store in Pennsylvania. The settlement also requires CVS stores in Pennsylvania to implement several policies, which include the following:

• CVS shall implement, or review, its expired products policy regarding appropriate practices and procedures to ensure that expired products are not sold or offered for sale in Pennsylvania.

• CVS shall provide all of its Pennsylvania store managers and employees involved in the stocking of baby food, dairy products, infant formula and over the counter drugs with annual training regarding its expired products policy.

• CVS shall implement and maintain a program of internal compliance checks to remove expired products from store shelves.

• CVS shall prominently post notices in the aisles where baby food, dairy products, infant formula and over the counter drugs are offered for sale, reminding customers to check the “Sell By” or “Expiration” dates.

• CVS stores every three months shall select and audit a minimum of 25 percent of retails stores in Pennsylvania, with all stores being inspected at least once per year.

• The settlement provides the Commonwealth the right to perform audits of CVS stores in Pennsylvania.

The settlement was filed today in the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas by Chief Deputy Attorney General Thomas M. Devlin and Senior Deputy Attorney General Nicole VanOrder of the Office of Attorney General’s Health Care Section.

The Health Care Section advocates on behalf of consumers who are experiencing difficulty in dealing with health care organizations. The Section mediates complaints made by consumers, investigates business practices and takes legal action when appropriate on behalf of consumers and the public interest.

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