CVS accused of selling expired meds
Demonstrators gathered at a local CVS store at 11007 Market St., Thursday to demand the pharmacy chain stop selling expired products to consumers.
‘We’re fired up and can’t take it no more, CVS is a greedy store,’ Cure CVS organizer Daniel Duffy sang. Over 30 demonstrators joined him in this and several other chants.
Cure CVS is an initiative by Change to Win and partner organizations to reform the drugstore industry. They are beginning with CVS, the country’s largest provider of prescription drugs and largest pharmacy chain.
A recent report by Change to Win revealed 91 percent of CVS stores surveyed in Greater Houston are selling expired products, including dairy products, infant formula and medications.
‘We need to ask them to be responsible about the way they are practicing their business,’ Garrett O’Connor, Cure CVS Organizer, said. ‘They are extremely big and profitable and we want to make sure that the profit is not coming at the cost of the community.’
Houston ranks second only to the Dallas area in the percentage of expired goods sold at stores surveyed throughout the U.S.
Sandy Reyes, a member of the Students Veteran Organization and a student activist from UHD, was one of the protesters in attendance and wants CVS to take action and stop selling expired products.
‘I think it’s pretty endemic, they’re not just a statistic, they are a reality. It’s not just about changing their policy, it’s about reforming the way they do business,’ Reyes said.
CVS spokesperson Michael DeAngelis said the pharmacy store does not condone the selling of expired products.
‘It is never acceptable for an expired product to remain on our shelves,’ he said. ‘We have a clear product removal policy in place at all of our stores to help ensure that items are removed from our shelves before they reach their expiration date. However, whenever we discover an expired product, we move quickly to correct the situation.’
Demonstrators walked through out the store and found over 10 CVS expired allergy relief medication boxes, one dated as far back as November 2006. In the freezer, there were at least 10 expired cases of Bud Light.
‘It is illegal (to sell expired medications),’ Sheryl McConnell, U.S. FDA (Houston Office) public affairs specialist said. ‘Products are considered adulterated and misbranded if they are expired.’
Some demonstrators said they felt betrayed and were angered by CVS’ actions and were unaware of the chain selling expired medications and dairy products.
‘We might need to take some legal action,’ Francisco Rodriguez, League of United Latin American Citizens Board Member, said.
Gina Bower, Cure CVS spokesperson, said they will hold a national day of action in 17 cities, including Houston, on June 18. For more information visit http://www.curecvsnow.org/.