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Expired products ordered off CVS shelves

June 20, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
If you've recently been to the pharmacy, you may be using expired products.California Attorney General Jerry Brown says expired products like baby food and over-the-counter medications may be lining the shelves of local pharmacies.

Click the Eyewitness News Story Window above to watch Subha Ravindhran's report from Burbank.

An undercover investigation recently uncovered 48 expired products on the shelves of 26 CVS/pharmacy stores in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties.

Customers are shocked that CVS stores in Southern California have been caught selling expired products.

"For me it's kind of shocking, you know, because I'm a grandmother and, you know, with my grandchild having formula and everything. You have to make sure, you know, that everything is current, is up to date," said Kim Jackson.

"I think people are greedy and they do what they can to make money. It's sad," said Kay Yerovich. "You think you're buying a product that is what it says it is and it's going to work like it says it's going to work. Luckily I only bought a neck pillow."

The California Attorney General's office says its investigation into the pharmacy chain began in March after receiving several complaints from customers. After conducting undercover shopping operations, investigators found 48 expired products being sold at CVS stores across Southern California.

The expired products included:

  • Baby formula
  • Toddler food
  • Over-the-counter medications
  • Milk
  • Eggs

Officials say some of the products were between four and six months beyond their expiration dates. In some cases, the expiration dates were covered by price tags or store stickers.

"I think one is too much if it's going to endanger somebody, you know. I think it is definitely something to be concerned. If there's 48, maybe there's more," said Sara Gabay.

State officials are now demanding the pharmacy chain immediately remove all expired items off their selves. But they're not releasing exactly which stores were selling expired products.

Some customers say they're now changing their shopping habits.

"I'll be more careful. I don't think I'll stop shopping at CVS, but I'll definitely look at every single expiration date," said Tensie Palmer.

CVS officials released the following statement:

We value the trust our customers have placed in us to sell them products that are safe and effective. Our policy is to remove items before they go beyond the expiration date. We are working aggressively to ensure that our review and removal procedures are followed consistently in all of our stores and we will fully cooperate with the Attorney General's Office in this matter.

State officials also want CVS to change how they get rid of patient information. They say in the course of the investigation they also found that CVS was improperly disposing of customer private health and financial information.

 

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