CVS has been slapped with nationwide class action lawsuit alleging the pharmacy chain sells adulterated generic thyroid tablets that are the subject of an FDA recall.
Plaintiff Kim Yachera is asserting claims against CVS Pharmacy and Westminster Pharmaceuticals for manufacturing and distributing adulterated generic prescription thyroid medications containing Levothyroxine and Liothyronine tablets for oral use, branded as “Thyroid Tablets, USP” or “Thyroid Tablets”.
Levothyroxine (tetraiodothyronine sodium) and Liothyronine (liothyronine sodium) are generic prescription medications indicated as replacement or supplemental therapy in patients with hypothyroidism, among other conditions. According to the 29-page complaint, Westminster combines both compounds into a generic formulation consisting of a single oral tablet. However, due to manufacturing defects originating from overseas laboratories in China (Sichuan), Westminster’s formulation has become adulterated, or in other words, worthless.
On August 9, 2018, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) posted a notice of a voluntary recall of the Thyroid Tablets due to the adulteration of active pharmaceutical ingredients. Among other things, the FDA found that Sichuan had failed to “ensure that all specifications and test procedures are scientifically sound and appropriate to ensure that [its] API conform[s] to established standards of quality and purity.” Specifically, Sichuan “failed to conduct residual solvent testing” of its active pharmaceutical ingredients. Sichuan had also improperly manufactured certain API “on shared equipment.”
The CVS Thyroid Tablets class action lawsuit contends that consumers were injured by purchasing the medication. “These medications are worthless, as they are manufactured with API’s that have been found to be adulterated and are not fit for human consumption.”
Yachera, who had been using the CVS Thyroid Tablets for some time, says she initially learned about the Thyroid Tablets recall by receiving a letter dated August 24, 2018 from CVS, which informed her that Westminster was recalling her medication “because of potential quality concerns during the manufacturing of the active pharmaceutical ingredients”. The letter also stated that “[t]he FDA has reported finding inconsistent levels of the active pharmaceutical ingredients in the Westminster Pharmaceuticals levothyroxine and liothyronine tablets it tested”. The letter also noted that “[t]his may represent a potential health hazard or safety risk to patients who may be using product affected by this recall” and that Yachera should stop using the thyroid tablets immediately and “call [her] doctor right away for advice.”
Had she known about the alleged worthless nature of the CVS Thyroid tablets, Yachera says she would not have purchased them.
Yachera brings this proposed class action lawsuit on behalf of all persons in the U.S. who purchased or paid for thyroid tablets that are subject to Westminster’s recall or manufactured with adulterated components from Sichuan.” Yachera is also seeking to certify a Pennsylvania subclass.
Yachera and the proposed classes are represented by Scott A. Bursor of Bursor & Fisher PA.
The CVS Thyroid Tablets Class Action Lawsuit is Kim Yachera v. Westminster Pharmaceuticals LLC and CVS Pharmacy Inc., Case No. 8:18-cv-02463-MSS-AAS, in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division.