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Post date: June 12 2008

Attorney General Cuomo Takes Legal Action Against Cvs And Rite Aid For Selling Expired Products Across Upstate New York

NEW YORK, N.Y. (June 12, 2008) – Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced his office is taking legal action against CVS and Rite Aid pharmacies after a statewide investigation into retail drug stores found the companies sold expired products - including milk, eggs, medicines and baby formula - at stores across New York. 

In March, Attorney General Cuomo's Office began a statewide, undercover investigation of all major drug store chains in New York State. The probe uncovered an egregious pattern at two of the largest chains: CVS and Rite Aid. Statewide, the Attorney General's investigation has so far uncovered that 142 CVS and 112 Rite Aid stores in over 41 counties sold expired products. This reflects 60 percent of the CVS stores visited and 43 percent of the Rite Aid stores visited.

At these locations, undercover investigators were able to purchase more than 600 expired products, including milk, eggs, medicines and baby formula. Several of the expired products were over one-year-old.

Because of the companies' failure to remove potentially dangerous products from their shelves, Attorney General Cuomo has sent the companies a five day notice letter, as required by statute, notifying both CVS and Rite Aid of the intent to commence litigation against them.

"My ongoing investigation has uncovered a shameful disregard for public health in these stores," said Attorney General Cuomo. "Families across New York State buy products from these establishments assuming that they're coming from a safe, reputable source. However, when the products pass their expiration dates, they become ineffective and potentially unsafe, threatening to put our loved ones at risk. These companies allowed personal profit to get ahead of their customers' health. I am committed to protecting New York consumers and we will continue to investigate this troubling practice."

The Attorney General today released regional data detailing the number of CVS and Rite AID stores across Upstate New York that were found to be selling expired products.