NEW YORK — State investigators here have said they purchased expired infant formula from CVS earlier this month.
The infraction marks the third time since June that the drug chain has been rebuked for selling out-of-date products in New York.
“In today's difficult economic times, consumers should not be spending their hard earned money on expired product that may be harmful to themselves or their children,” said New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo, in a statement.
After expired formula, milk, eggs and medicine were initially discovered for sale at 148 CVS locations and 122 Rite Aid stores in June, inspections conducted weeks later revealed that both chains were still merchandising expired product.
Since then, CVS has taken steps to shore up the integrity of the items it sells, CVS spokesman Michael DeAngelis told SN. “Over the last several months we retrained our employees to ensure compliance with a policy [to remove out-of-date products] and will continue to aggressively communicate the importance of this issue to our employees,” he said. “While no labor-intensive process of this kind is immune from error, we strive to achieve 100% compliance with our policies.”
The news comes as a $1.3 million settlement in a lawsuit, brought against Rite Aid by Cuomo's office, was reached.
Meanwhile, the legal action brought against CVS “continues due to its unwillingness to properly address the problems found at its New York stores,” the Attorney General's office said in a statement.
The suit seeks to permanently prevent CVS from selling expired product by requiring that the chain implement strengthened employee training procedures and communicate to consumers the serious health risks of consuming expired product. It also seeks to compel the retailer to retain an independent monitor to perform random compliance checks at CVS locations in the state on a monthly basis.
The suit is the latest in a recent string of legal actions brought against drug chains for selling expired formula.
Earlier this year, Rite Aid Corp., Rite Aid of New Jersey and Eckerd Corp. agreed to pay a $650,000 settlement to resolve a lawsuit alleging that for the second time in five years the chain sold expired and incorrectly priced infant formula, baby food, non-prescription drugs and other products in its New Jersey locations in 2006.