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Rite Aid and CVS are taking some legal heat over a private label product used for oral care.

Rite Aid, CVS face lawsuits for misleading shoppers

Retailers in trouble over dry mouth discs

Rite Aid is taking some legal heat over a private label product used for oral care. 

 A lawsuit was filed recently in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York accusing the pharmacy of misleading consumers about the health benefits of its its Oral Care Dry Mouth Discs, according to “Top Class Actions,” a website that follows class action lawsuits. The suit notes independent testing that shows the discs have a pH of 5.1, making them highly acidic. A pH of 6.7 is needed to prevent the discs from being harmful, according to the suit. The lawsuit accuses  Rite Aid (Camp Hill, Pa.) of violating the Magnuson Ross Warranty Act, the New York General Business Law, which is the primary corporate statute in the state, and other state consumer fraud acts. The Magnuson Ross Warranty Act authorizes the Federal Trade Commission to develop regulations for written warranties. The Act directs the Commission to establish disclosure standards for written warranties, specifies standards for “full” warranties, limits disclaimer of implied warranties, and establishes consumer remedies for breach of warranty or service contract obligations. 

It’s not the first time dry mouth discs have been at the center of a legal fight. Back in March, CVS was named in a lawsuit claiming that the discs contribute to tooth erosion. The suit was filed in an Illinois federal court and claimed CVS violated state and federal consumer laws. The discs’ pH rating is again the main issue. With a pH of 5.3, that lawsuit claims the discs fall under the critical pH level of enamel or root dentin, and refers to a study that showed the product caused 1% tooth loss.

“In light of the product’s acidity, its representation as beneficial to oral health and the alleviation of dry mouth is misleading,” the lawsuit says. “This is because, in part, it fails to inform purchasers of the likelihood of demineralization, dental erosion, greater sensitivity, and higher incidences of dental caries.”

Both Rite Aid and CVS have experienced some legal trouble over the last few months. The two were involved in a case accusing them of using a doctor’s name for prescription orders without the doctor’s approval. Rite Aid pharmacists also have been involved in a suit where they allegedly ignored guidance given regarding the distribution of controlled substances. Rite Aid is accused of submitting false subscription claims to Medicare, Medicaid, and other government healthcare programs.

In May, CVS settled a pair of lawsuits for just over $12 million. A $6.5 million settlement involved allegedly selling expired baby food and baby formula. The Woonsocket, R.I.-based retailer also was ordered to pay $6.15 million after being accused of overcharging prescriptions tied to workers’ compensation insurance in Massachusetts.







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