CVS To Pay Ohio $1.5M In Penalties Over Several Safety Issues – One America News Network

CARVER, MASSACHUSETTS - MAY 15: A sign on the side of the CVS Pharmacy on May 15, 2020 in Carver, Massachusetts. Nine CVS locations began providing coronavirus tests in Massachusetts, issuing self swab tests to people by appointment. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

OAN’s James Meyers
9:24 AM –Friday, March 1, 2024

Retail chain pharmacy CVS Health, will pay Ohio $1.5 million in penalties for problems related to understaffing and will cause mandatory changes for all the state’s retail pharmacies, the Ohio Board of Pharmacy announced on Thursday.


The penalties, which are the largest ever imposed by the state board, involved 27 safety cases the board was investigating at 22 CVS pharmacies.

The 27 investigated cases alleged safety concerns and potential legal violations between 2020 and 2023 and found that understaffing was a major factor in the violations.

Additionally, inspectors found not enough staff for the volume of prescriptions, dispensing errors, dirty equipment, expired medications, trash throughout the pharmacies, poor drug security, and failure to report losses of controlled substances, among other issues.

“By entering into this settlement agreement, the Board seeks immediate and systemic changes to protect patients and address critical understaffing,” said Steven Schierholt, executive director of the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy. “We believe that this agreement is an acknowledgment by CVS that considerable changes are warranted to ensure the safe practice of pharmacy at their retail stores.”

In the agreement, the eight stores with the worst staffing issues would be placed under “advanced monitoring” by the board, to be funded by CVS, for the next three years. The pharmacy also agreed to voluntarily comply with multiple not-yet finalized state rules focused on patient safety.

Furthermore, the proposed state rules CVS agreed to follow may soon apply to all pharmacies in the state, with the board expecting to finalize the new rules within the next few months.

Meanwhile, CVS Health has over 9,000 retail locations across America and is the largest pharmacy determined by revenue. It is also the largest operator of retail pharmacies in Ohio.

Spokesperson Amy Thibault said that CVS is “pleased to have reached an agreement with the Ohio Board of Pharmacy regarding years-old allegations involving some of our Ohio pharmacies” and that the company looks forward to working with the board, including on “enhancing our positive identification systems, and continuing to provide safe, high-quality pharmacy care to our patients.”

With staffing concerns, CVS has made large hiring pushes, and increased wages to combat the issue. However, outcry from largely nonunionized workers has continued including some work stoppages at retail chains in the fall.

“We’re committed to ensuring there are appropriate levels of staffing and resources at our pharmacies and are making targeted investments,” Thibault said. “That includes increasing pharmacist wages roughly $1 billion between 2021 and 2024 and awarding roughly $70 million in bonuses this year to “pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and other frontline colleagues.”

The Buckeye State settled its 27 cases with CVS for a $1.25 million penalty. For the eight stores where the board found the biggest staffing issues, they were placed on three-year probation, and the company will pay an additional $250,000 “to cover the cost of enhanced monitoring by the Board.”

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James Meyers
Author: James Meyers

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