Thursday, May 21, 2009

Survey says CVS Pharmacies in 9 States Sell Expired Products

Surveyors affiliated with Change to Win recently visited 310 CVS Pharmacies in nine states, and found that almost 60 percent of those stores were selling expired items, including milk, allergy medicine and products for infants and children. In the Pittsburgh region, 20 out of 30 CVS stores had found this problem.

Ken Love, Pastor of Kerr Presbyterian Church in Penn Hills, spoke at a downtown protest in front of the Smithfield Street CVS store. He finds the news to be appalling. He says this issue is something the public needs to know about, and he wants the Allegheny County Health Department to do something about it. Some stores, like the Smithfield Street location, have more of this issue than stores in Upper Saint Clair or Mt. Lebanon. There is a trend that more of these products sold after the expiration dates occur in poorer neighborhoods, and Love says he blames corporate greed.

It's important that pharmacies sell up-to-date products, because over time, medications can lose potency after an expiration date, or sometimes gain potency, says Hal Sanders, of the Western Pennsylvania Single-Payer Health Care organization. It is a hazard for consumers.

Nettie Pelton was personally affected by the situation. She says she bought an allergy product at the downtown pharmacy a few weeks ago, and it had been stamped months past its expiration date. The product was not as strong as it should of been, and she now keeps an eye out for such issues.

Calls made to the CVS District Manager in Pittsburgh have not been returned.

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