It’s been three years in the making, but the Attorney General’s office reached a “first of its kind” settlement with CVS Pharmacy over its alleged sale of products after their expiration or “sell by” dates.
While not admitting any wrongdoing CVS will pay the state $105,000, but more importantly it will offer consumers $2 coupons if they find expired over-the-counter drugs, baby food, baby formula, eggs, and dairy products in their 137 Connecticut stores.
The coupon program for expired products in the above categories will begin in 90 days.
“Consumers will benefit by not having the risk of expired, over-the-counter items, and the state benefits from the money to the general fund,” Attorney General George Jepsen said Thursday at a press conference.
Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner William Rubenstein said expiration and “sell by” dates are there for a reason and they should not be ignored by retailers or consumers.
“The most significant part of the settlement is that CVS has agreed to include in its program conspicuous point of sale notices to consumers to actually check expiration dates and provide an incentive for consumers to do so by way of coupons,“ Rubenstein said.
He said the heightened awareness will carry over into consumers’ shopping habits, which will make other retailers implement similar consumer awareness programs in order to compete.
“This incentives positive behavior all around,” Jepsen said. “It’s good for consumers, it’s good for CVS, and I think in the long run it will be helpful.”
There are other states that have instituted similar programs as part of settlements with retailers, but Assistant Attorney General Matthew Fitzsimmons said this is a first of its kind settlement in Connecticut.
“We also believe it’s unique in that there’s no limit to the number of coupons,” Fitzsimmons said.
The program will begin in 90 days at all 137 CVS stores in Connecticut.