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CVS sued by Connecticut AG over expired products

Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut's attorney general, said in a statement that a probe in his state found 'nearly one of every two CVS stores surveyed selling out-of-date food and over the counter medicine.'


Steven Brown, Sacramento Business Journal, Nov 30, 2009

CVS Caremark Corp., which arrived in California last year when it bought Longs Drug Stores for $2.5 billion, has been sued by the Connecticut attorney general for allegedly selling expired products.

The Woonsocket, R.I., company (NYSE: CVS), settled a similar suit in New York earlier this month for $875,000.

Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut’s attorney general, said in a statement that a probe in his state found “nearly one of every two CVS stores surveyed selling out-of-date food and over the counter medicine.”

Investigators from Blumenthal’s office checked products at 40 CVS stores in Connecticut in the summer of 2008 and 45 stores in the summer of 2009. They found expired products at 10 stores the first time and at 20 stores the second.

CVS Caremark bought Longs Drug Stores last year for about $2.5 billion after fighting off rival claimant Walgreen Co. (NYSE: WAG), which is based in Deerfield, Ill. CVS picked up 521 Longs stores in California, Nevada, Arizona and Hawaii in the deal.

CVS kept the Longs brand in Hawaii, but changed over the rest of the stores and shut down Longs’ head office in Walnut Creek, plus two other corporate offices in the East Bay, eliminating 800 jobs.

There are about 25 CVS stores in the Sacramento area.

In June, CVS settled with California over a similar lawsuit filed by Attorney General Jerry Brown. That deal lets people claim a $2 coupon if they find an expired product on a Longs Drug or CVS shelf. CVS paid $975,000 in the settlement.

CVS had not yet replied to a request for comment by press time.

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