Ron Freitas
District Attorney
RON FREITAS District Attorney, San Joaquin County
Protecting Our Community Since 1850 222 E. Weber Avenue, Room 101, Stockton, CA
P. O. Box 990, Stockton, CA 95201
T (209) 468-2400 | F (209) 465-0371
News from the Office of District Attorney Ronald J. Freitas
For Immediate Release
May 12, 2023
CONTACT: Elisa Bubak, Public Information Officer
T: (209) 468-2400 | E:

CVS to Pay Penalties for Offering to Sell Expired Products at California Stores; Cy Pres Restitution to Stockton Emergency Food Bank

Stockton- On May 10, 2023, a settlement to resolve a civil law enforcement action against CVS Pharmacy, Inc., Longs Drug Stores California, L.L.C., and Garfield Beach CVS, L.L.C., (“CVS”) was entered by the Superior Court in Santa Cruz County.  The settlement was entered in conjunction with the District Attorney Offices of Contra Costa County, Fresno County, Marin County, Placer County, Riverside County, Sacramento County, San Bernardino County, San Joaquin County, Santa Cruz County, Shasta County, Solano County, and Yolo County.

CVS owns and operates pharmacies and retail stores in California, which sell general merchandise including over-the-counter drugs, food, infant formula, and baby food.  CVS operates several stores in San Joaquin County.  Retailers in California are prohibited from selling or offering for sale after the expiration date an over-the-counter drug.  Similarly, food retailers are prohibited from selling or offering for sale after the “use by” date, any infant formula or baby food that is required by the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to have a “use by” date on its packaging.  The civil complaint, filed in Santa Cruz County Superior Court, alleged that CVS offered for sale and sold during the last four years, expired over-the-counter drug products as well as infant formula and baby food after their “use by” date.

Upon being put on notice of the violations found during the People’s investigation, CVS was cooperative and conducted internal checks for expired over-the-counter drugs and infant formula and baby food which were past the “use by” date at all their California retail locations.  CVS further invested time and resources to prioritize the verification of expiration dates and re-train store personnel.  There was no evidence discovered by the People as part of their investigation that the sale of any expired or past the “use by” date products resulted in harm to consumers.

Without admitting or denying liability, CVS agreed to be bound by a court order which prohibits any additional violations of California law relating to the sale or offer for sale of over-the-counter drugs or infant formula and baby food past their “use by” date.  As part of the judgment, CVS was ordered to pay $6,500,000.00 in civil penalties and investigative costs as well as an additional $1,000,000.00 in restitution which shall be contributed to several charitable organizations serving California citizens throughout a wide swath of the State.  A direct charitable contribution in the amount of $125,000 will go to the Emergency Food Bank in Stockton to further the work being done by that organization for the people in San Joaquin County.