Don’t Discard Expired Medicines


Expired Medicines – Research in America has revealed that expiry dates on medications that infer you ought not to take them have almost nothing to do with safety – they are designed to increase sales, and to provide manufacturers with protection against legal claims.

Food and Drug Administration

Expired drugs may lose some of their potency, but most are effective for a long time. A study by the US Food & Drug Administration of a hundred drugs in the armed forces stockpile showed that about 90 per cent of them were safe and effective as long as 15 years past their expiration dates.

“Manufacturers put expiration dates on for marketing, rather than scientific, reasons,” says Francis Flaherty, a former FDA pharmacist. “It’s not profitable for them to have products on a shelf for ten years. They want turnover.”

Joel Davis, a former FDA expiration-date compliance chief, says that with a handful of exceptions – notably nitroglycerin, insulin and some liquid antibiotics – most drugs are probably as durable as those tested for the military.

“Most drugs degrade very slowly. In all likelihood you can take a product you have at home and keep it for many years.”

It seems that the pharmaceutical industry is making billions every year out of unknowing consumers who discard perfectly good drugs and replace them with new ones because they trust the industry’s expiration-date labelling.

copyright: Martin Spring of OnTarget