$150,000 Distributed to Food Banks Across PA as Part of Consumer Protection Settlement with CVS

HARRISBURG – Five food banks serving communities across Pennsylvania have received a total of $150,000 as part of a consumer protection settlement between the Attorney General’s Health Care Section and the CVS Pharmacy chain, which addressed complaints about the sale of expired over the counter drugs, infant formula, baby food, dairy products and other food items.

The recipients include Philabundance, of Philadelphia; Second Harvest Food Bank of Lehigh Valley & Northeastern Pennsylvania, of Bethlehem; Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, of Harrisburg; Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank; and the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest Pennsylvania, of Erie. Each organization is receiving $30,000.

“A major portion of this settlement was a requirement that funds be distributed to community organizations that provide much-needed food and medical supplies to low-income families across Pennsylvania,” Attorney General Tom Corbett noted.

In addition to the funds that have been distributed to food banks, the settlement requires CVS Pharmacy to take a number of steps to prevent items from being sold after their listed “sell by” or “expiration dates.” CVS is also required to provide coupons for $2.00 off any future purchase to any consumers who find expired products offered for sale at a CVS store in Pennsylvania.

The settlement requires CVS to institute a system to ensure that expired products are not sold, including:

– Daily inspection of all dairy products at CVS stores.
– Regular inspections of other products and removal of items that are within 60 days of their expiration dates (This includes all items related to allergy treatment, baby feeding, children’s remedies, cold remedies, oral hygiene products, pain relievers, stomach remedies and all other over the counter drugs that contain expiration dates).
– Prominent 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 (expired products may not 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 audits of CVS stores to verify compliance with the settlement.

Corbett said the settlement also included $100,000 that will be used by the Attorney General’s Office for future consumer protection and education activities.

Consumers with questions or complaints concerning expired products at CVS stores should contact the Attorney General’s Health Care Section at 1-877-888-4877 or file an online complaint using the Attorney General’s website, at www.attorneygeneral.gov (Click on the “Complaints” button on the front page of the website and select the “Health Care Complaint Form”).

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