CVS Pharmacy Has Been Repeatedly Found To Sell Expired Drugs
CVS Pharmacy has been found to sell expired medications on multiple occasions, an alarming realization now that a probable carcinogen was found to accumulate in Zantac over time.
North Carolina, 2019
The North Carolina Board of Pharmacy, in June 2019, reprimanded CVS Pharmacy in Huntersville, N.C. for giving expired seizure medication to patients.
“On 27 occasions between February 2, 2016, and March 7, 2017, (CVS) pharmacists negligently dispensed potentially expired Vimpat solution because they were not aware that Vimpat expired within seven weeks after the manufacturer’s bottle was opened,” the board wrote in a consent order.
“Because (CVS) pharmacists were not aware of the expiration date, they returned partially used bottles to stock, failed to note when the bottles were opened, dispensed expired Vimpat solution to patients, and did not inform patients of the correct expiration date of the solution. These errors affected three (CVS) patients,” the order stated.
The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office, in 2016, reached a $450,000 settlement with CVS after it was revealed that CVS was selling expired products in its stores in the state. Authorities said the settlement came after CVS violated a 2010 agreement in which it agreed to make sure they weren’t selling expired products. Agents from the AG’s healthcare section said they found expired infant formula and over-the-counter medications for children were sold at five of the six stores they inspected.
CVS employees allegedly bypassed a register prompt designed to stop expired items from being sold in two cases.
Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal sued CVS in 2009 for selling food, beverages and over-the-counter medications past their expiration dates at 20 or more of its stores in the state.
“Shockingly, our 2009 investigation showed nearly one of every two CVS stores surveyed selling out-of-date food and over the counter medicine,” Blumenthal said.
Probable Carcinogen Found To Form Over Time In Zantac
Testing lab Emery Pharma found that heat causes NDMA, which is classified as a probable carcinogen by the EPA, to form over time in Zantac.
The lab exposed a sample of ranitidine, the active ingredient in Zantac, to 158 degrees Fahrenheit and found that the sample exceeded the FDA’s daily NDMA intake limit after only five days. The lab also found that a sample exposed to 77 degrees Fahrenheit contained about a quarter of the FDA’s daily limit for NDMA after only 12 days, suggesting that it might contain an over-the-limit amount of NDMA if stored at 77 degrees Fahrenheit for about 48 days.
The FDA requested that all medications containing ranitidine be removed from the United States market in April due to NDMA contamination.