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Author Topic: Article and blog entry: Are drugs effective past their expiration date?  (Read 3262 times)


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this really shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.
hey.. wouldn't it be a fun surprise if the government regulated this stuff in favor of consumer information rather than business marketing advantages?

In light of these results, a former director of the testing program, Francis Flaherty, says he has concluded that expiration dates put on by manufacturers typically have no bearing on whether a drug is usable for longer. Mr. Flaherty notes that a drug maker is required to prove only that a drug is still good on whatever expiration date the company chooses to set. The expiration date doesn’t mean, or even suggest, that the drug will stop being effective after that, nor that it will become harmful.


“Manufacturers put expiration dates on for marketing, rather than scientific, reasons,” says Mr. Flaherty, a pharmacist at the FDA until his retirement last year. “It’s not profitable for them to have products on a shelf for 10 years. They want turnover.”

from http://www.imaginary...ogs/idiotprogrammer/


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I would love to see a full list of the drugs they tested and extended if anybody has access to that information.

At least 1 of the drugs mentioned in the article that blog post links to, is taken by a family member in my home, and now we can save a ton of money by buying it in bulk and not worrying about it expiring.

There is one that wasn't mentioned that I am curious about: Provental asthma inhalers.
I wonder if that was tested, and if so what the results were.

I stock piled a certain OTC asthma drug when I discovered that they had changed the formula on it. The new formula is less effective and can make people's heart race (it contains ephedrine instead of theophylline). Before they changed the formula, it was the only source of OTC theophylline you could buy in the US. My father did the same stock piling that I did and neither one of us have had any problems with the drug after it's expiration date.

I wish I had stock piled decongestants containing phenylpropanolamine before the FDA pulled it off of every shelf in the country. It was the only one that worked for me. (I suffer from very painful debilitating sinus toothaches during the spring)

They recalled it primarily for the reason that there were too many idiots taking diet pills containing it at the same time as cold pills containing the same drug and as a result they were suffering strokes caused by overdose.

This decongestant was available for over 20 years before the big recall, and is still available in many countries outside of the US. In Canada it was never approved as a weight loss drug and was only available in cold remedies...and in the entire history of the drug being available in Canada, there was only 1 report of anybody ever having a stroke from taking it.

If I had some sort of advance warning that they were going to recall this, I would have stocked up on a lifetime supply of this for myself.

It seems the laws & regulations only favor the businesses and people that have health insurance that covers prescriptions. People that pay out of their pockets for their health care and medications are the ones that suffer, tossing their money in the trash when they don't have to.

Carol Haynes

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They also put expiration dates on (in Europe anyway) because the regulating bodies insist on it.