Rethinking Expiration Dates

When drugs in hospital and retail pharmacies reach their expiration date, they must be destroyed. But when drugs in the US Department of Defense stockpile expire, their expiration dates are often extended through a program developed with the FDA.

Testing by government and university scientists has shown that many “expired” drugs remain safe and potent. Yet state and federal laws require pharmacies to discard these medications, no matter how expensive or scarce.

The FDA must take the lead in changing these policies, says a former FDA scientist. “We are throwing away products that are certainly stable.”

Source: ProPublica

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