(CN) – CVS Caremark Corp. agreed to pay almost $1 million to settle claims that it sold expired baby formula and over-the-counter medication in its California stores, the state’s attorney general announced Wednesday.
As part of the settlement, CVS Pharmacy and Longs Drugs stores, which were bought by CVS Caremark last year, will give customers a $2 coupon if they find an expired product on shelves. The offer is limited to one coupon per visit.
“CVS Pharmacy routinely sold expired baby formula, over-the-counter medication and dairy products long after the expiration date,” Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. said.
In March 2008, Brown dispatched investigators to state CVS stores in response to complaints about the chain selling expired items.
Investigators pinned down several locations in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties that were selling out-of-date products, including Gerber’s Vanilla Custard baby food 11 months past expiration at a Huntington Beach store, according to a press release from the attorney general’s office.
The investigation also unearthed evidence that five CVS pharmacies left 500 documents and prescription bottles labeled with confidential medical information in dumpsters outside the stores. The private information included names, birthdays and prescription medications.
CVS denied any wrongdoing, but said it would step up its training in California stores, which number more than 800.
The retailer will pay $975,000 in civil penalties, attorneys’ fees and costs. The judgment was entered in San Diego County Superior Court.