August 2009 Press Releases
Rite Aid Reaches
Settlement with State Regulators - August 27, 2009
State Announces $128,000 in Grants to Vermont Towns - August 12,
Wednesday August 12, 2009
Contact: Ginny Colbert 802-828-2148
Secretary of State Announces $128,000 in Grants to Vermont Towns
Montpelier. Secretary of State Deb Markowitz announced today that 60 Vermont towns will receive grants totaling over $128,000 through the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) Improved Administration of Federal Elections program. These funds will be used to improve the administration of the primary and general elections in 2010.
“Towns will be able to use these funds to purchase equipment and services to ensure that our elections continue to run smoothly,” said Markowitz.
The Improved Administration of Federal Elections program is intended to provide funding for services and equipment such as computers, installation of a telephone line at the polling place, signage, computer software and training. Towns were invited to submit applications for funding to the Secretary of State’s Office. Since 2005, 284 grants totaling over $558,000 have been awarded to Vermont towns through this program.
For more information on the Help America Vote Act, go to the Secretary of State’s website at http://vermont-elections.org/elections1/hava.html
Grant Recipients and Amounts
Statement from Secretary of State Deb Markowitz regarding Governor Douglas’ announcement that he will not seek re-election in 2010
Contact: Ginny Colbert 802-828-2148
Montpelier – I want to congratulate and applaud Jim Douglas for his years of service to the state. Douglas is a Vermonter who has devoted his life to public service. Vermonters, regardless of political party, should honor him for his commitment to serving the state for all of these years. I wish him the very best in his future endeavors.
August 27, 2009
Contact: Ginny Colbert, 802-828-2148
Rite Aid Reaches Settlement with State Regulators
Pharmacy chain agrees to pay $80,000 administrative penalty
Montpelier - Under an agreement between the Rite Aid Corporation and the Secretary of State’s Office of Professional Regulation, the pharmacy chain has agreed to pay an $80,000 administrative penalty for violating standards of practice in 2007 and 2008. In 2007 Rite Aid purchased the Brooks Pharmacy chain and during the transition closed stores without adequate warning to its customers, made prescription errors, misplaced prescriptions, and provided inadequate service and record keeping. The state pharmacy board, whose mission it is to protect the public by regulating pharmacists and pharmacies, approved the administrative penalty.
According to Chris Winters, director of the Office of Professional Regulation, “When Rite Aid took over the Brooks chain in Vermont its lack of planning for the transition put Vermonters at risk. Fortunately, no physical harm occurred, but there still must be consequences for failing to follow the law. Operating a store without a pharmacy manager is dangerous, as is closing a pharmacy without notifying customers in advance. Over the course of a few months, I heard from many frustrated Vermonters who were unhappy with the poor service and were worried about where they were going to fill their next prescription.”
For several months, the pharmacy board has been monitoring Rite Aid practices. This settlement encompasses the dozens of complaints received and investigated by the board. Within the settlement document, Rite Aid “regrets and apologizes for the inconveniences, hardships, and troubles that its customers suffered as a result of the actions and inactions alleged…”
Secretary of State Deb Markowitz said, “I’m pleased that Rite Aid has agreed to settle this case and that the Secretary of State’s Office was able to play a part in protecting the public from the dangers caused by poor management practices. This is a significant fine for a state the size of Vermont and with this decision the pharmacy board has sent a very clear message to every pharmacy in Vermont.”
The Office of Professional Regulation is the largest division of the Secretary of State’s Office and provides support to the pharmacy board and regulatory programs for 43 other professions and occupations covering some 55,000 licensed professionals.