Walgreens to pay $2M fine for overcharging customers, selling expired baby formula

How many times have you gotten up to the register at a store and had to fight for your right to get the sale price as advertised?

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Walgreens settles civil suit over pricing, expired OTC drugs

The San Francisco Chronicle reports Walgreens has agreed to pay more than $2 million to settle a civil suit alleging the pharmacy chain cheated customers by not honoring sales prices and endangered them by selling expired infant formula at stores throughout the Bay Area.

Prosecutors say customers were charged more than the lowest sale price for certain items. The pricing improprieties were discovered during routine inspections by local Weights and Measures offices.

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No word exactly how many customers were affected, so there is no restitution being offered as of now.

In addition, Walgreens violated state law by failing to pull infant formula, baby food and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs when they expired.

The pharmacy chain, which admits no wrongdoing, will pay $2,250,000 in civil penalties and costs to settle the allegations. Walgreens has more than 600 stores in California.

Are expired medications safe to use?

The issue of expired meds is an important one to understand for both the sake of your health and your wallet.

If you know that expiration dates on drugs are really just conservative estimates of their shelf lives, you’ll save a lot of money in the drug market.

Some 25 years ago, the military and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducted an experiment and found that many expired drugs were still effective. The savings to the military as a result of not having to destroy and replace expired drug stocks was immense, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

For example, the FDA found that Valium, Dilantin and the antibiotics tetracycline and penicillin were all potent a full two years past their expiration date.

Also noted in the Wall Street Journal article was this tidbit: Bayer admits its aspirin can be used effectively for four years, even though the manufacturer only prints two- or three-year expiration dates on the bottles.

Of course, you should always consider buying a generic brand of aspirin instead of a name brand, but you get the idea here!

If you have a question about the potency and safety of expired drugs, be sure to consult with your doctor. That way you can save money in the drug market and do it safely.

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