CVS pharmacy photoCVS has agreed to pay Pennsylvania $250,000 to settle consumer complaints that it sold expired food and over-the-counter drugs. The chain must also give $2 coupons to any consumer finding out-of-date merchandise on store shelves.

The settlement announced today by state Attorney General Tom Corbett is the latest in a string of cases nationwide that includes New York, California and Connecticut. In Pennsylvania, consumers had complained about expired over-the-counter drugs, infant formula, baby food, dairy products and other food.

CVS spokesman Michael J. DeAngelis e-mailed a statement to Consumer Ally that says the agreement was reached "to ensure that expired products are removed from store shelves consistent with the company's established policies. CVS/pharmacy has not admitted any liability or wrongdoing, and has agreed to settle this matter to avoid the time and expense of further investigation or legal proceedings. The company is not aware of any consumers who were harmed by expired products in CVS/pharmacy stores."

The agreement between the state, Pennsylvania CVS Pharmacy and White Cross Stores Inc. No 14 was filed in Dauphin County Court and requires CVS follow a system to prevent expired items from being sold including:
  • Daily inspection of all dairy products.
  • Regular inspections of other products and removal of items that are within 60 days of their expiration dates including all allergy treatments, baby feeding, children's remedies, cold remedies, oral hygiene products, pain relievers, and stomach remedies.
  • Post notices in all stores reminding customers to check the "sell by" and "expiration" dates, and to notify CVS employees immediately if customers find expired products.
  • Automatic prompts in store cash register systems requiring cashiers to verify expiration dates before items can be sold.
  • Training and certification for all store managers and employees involved in stocking baby food, infant formula, dairy products and over-the-counter drugs.
  • Regular CVS store checks to see if they are following the settlement.
Corbett says the settlement includes a $150,000 CVS payment to be divided among organizations that distribute baby food, infant formula, dairy products and over-the-counter drugs to needy Pennsylvanians. The remaining $100,000 will be used by the attorney general's office for future consumer protection and education activities.

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