Can Expired, but Still Potent, Drugs Cut the U.S. Health Bill?
Published: Oct 09, 2012
A few old boxes of medicine in the back of a pharmacy got poison control expert Lee Cantrell thinking. With dozens of drugs in short supply in the United States and a bloated national health bill, what if expired medications were still effective? What if instead of throwing out the drugs, patients and pharmacists could keep them on the shelves for several more years? So Cantrell and his colleagues went about testing the contents of those boxes, which had expired 28 to 40 years earlier. Out of the 14 compounds they analyzed, 12 still fulfilled government requirements for potency, according to the team's report, published on Monday in the Archives of Internal Medicine.