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(The Consumerist)   If you're sure that the big pharmacy companies are putting early expiration dates on their products to make you buy more, then you must be on drugs   (consumerist.com) divider line 16
    More: Interesting, tricks, pharmacy, drug companies, Bayer  
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1525 clicks; posted to Business » on 25 Oct 2012 at 11:04 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-25 04:07:11 AM  
Link

"Most of what is known about drug expiration dates comes from a study conducted by the Food and Drug Administration at the request of the military. With a large and expensive stockpile of drugs, the military faced tossing out and replacing its drugs every few years. What they found from the study is 90% of more than 100 drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter, were perfectly good to use even 15 years after the expiration date."

"Is the expiration date a marketing ploy by drug manufacturers, to keep you restocking your medicine cabinet and their pockets regularly? You can look at it that way. Or you can also look at it this way: The expiration dates are very conservative to ensure you get everything you paid for. And, really, if a drug manufacturer had to do expiration-date testing for longer periods it would slow their ability to bring you new and improved formulations. "
 
2012-10-25 07:46:21 AM  
People look at the expiration date on their medicines?
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2012-10-25 08:55:11 AM  
Drug companies knowingly sell drugs that kill people. i can't imagine them stooping to such a girly man level of evil.
 
2012-10-25 11:23:41 AM  

vpb: Drug companies knowingly sell drugs that kill people. i can't imagine them stooping to such a girly man level of evil.


media.tumblr.com
 
2012-10-25 11:25:00 AM  
I have to imagine that a single case brought for having a drug that expired before the stated date (and did not perform its intended purpose) would be way costlier than whatever this suit is.

For the drug companies (and I would assume users of the drugs) I would think erring on the conservative side makes sense to make sure efficacy is always met.

...but hey that expiration date on my milk is just a suggestion too, right
 
2012-10-25 11:28:00 AM  
So say this lawsuit is successful. How long for the followup being filed when some tard takes meds that are only 80% of what (s)he needs and dies/gets sicker because of it?
 
2012-10-25 11:35:59 AM  

BarkingUnicorn: Link

And, really, if a drug manufacturer had to do expiration-date testing for longer periods it would slow their ability to bring you new and improved formulations. "


Which makes sense for NEW drugs, but I'm pretty sure Aspirin, Tylenol and others we can slap realistic dates on the bottles by now.

CSB

Worked at a hospital and would get tylenol in "expired" trial packs from the pharmacist in just about bulk. The reps needed to offload them, the hospital couldn't use them, I got free headache relief.
 
2012-10-25 11:59:54 AM  
Take something like an EpiPen - medicine that you really hope not to have to use. It says it expires after a year or so. If it's still effective after 2 years, then the seller has just artificially doubled their sales. Of course, as mentioned above, if it sits around too long and turns out to be a dud, you've potentially got one of those wrongful death lawsuits.

I don't think the lawsuit is a bad thing, if only for the reason that it should hopefully get someone other than a company executive to review the science behind why the expiration date is what it is.
 
2012-10-25 12:17:16 PM  

KyngNothing: People look at the expiration date on their medicines?


If it's a prescription, you don't have to. Odds are the expiration date will always be exactly one year after the scrip was filled, regardless of what drug it is or when it was made. Had you gone to the pharmacy the next day, the expiration date would be one day later even though they're the same pills.

/IANAPharmacist, just my own observation
 
2012-10-25 12:34:58 PM  

jimpoz: KyngNothing: People look at the expiration date on their medicines?

If it's a prescription, you don't have to. Odds are the expiration date will always be exactly one year after the scrip was filled, regardless of what drug it is or when it was made. Had you gone to the pharmacy the next day, the expiration date would be one day later even though they're the same pills.

/IANAPharmacist, just my own observation


Well, that makes sense from a medical-supervision point of view, even if the meds are still technically safe. Generally, a doctor will want to keep track of how you are doing. By putting an expiration date on the meds, it means the patient is more liable to go see the doc again. I severely doubt "Now, this drug has some rather unpleasent side-effects; so we're gonna load you up with this dump-truck full of pills, but don't worry about seeing me until every single one is gone" is seen as medical best practices, even if the first and last pills taken were equally good
 
2012-10-25 01:11:19 PM  
Um, I *know* how expiration dates are done... can their lawyers just give me money instead?

Seriously, though, it's not an arbitrary decision, and a lot of it probably has to do with FDA regs. Basically, if you're a pharma company, you need to demonstrate product stability for the period of time you want to set for an expiration - so, if you want a three-year expiration date, you need to essentially have the product sitting around for 3 years on a shelf and then analyze it and prove that it still contains the listed amount of product (within 5-10% or so; I forget the exact specifications). There are also accelerated testing methods, for new drugs, but I forget the details for those as well.

What it comes down to is that companies would have to spend money to continually push the expiration dates back, and at a certain point why waste the money? If you know most people who buy a bottle of tylenol finish it within 2 years, and you've already got a 4-year expiration, then you'd be pissing money away continually pushing the exp date back. Some execs, of course, may willingly *halt* additional testing, for the purposes of getting artificially high turnover rates but I'm not sure you can force them to spend cash on that - you'd have to change the way the FDA does this (and taxpayers would have to pay for it).
 
2012-10-25 01:55:45 PM  
Expiration dates on almost everything are conservative numbers. My dad worked for Frito-Lay and he used to bring home cases of expired chips all the time. The chips were good for a month or two after the date.
 
2012-10-25 02:39:23 PM  
A doctor I know told me that drug expirations are more along the lines of half-lives (not that decay necessarily works in this manner, but...)

It's not that a drug will kill you after it expires. It's that there's less drug in there than there's supposed to be.
 
2012-10-25 03:45:41 PM  

The Z Spot: I have to imagine that a single case brought for having a drug that expired before the stated date (and did not perform its intended purpose) would be way costlier than whatever this suit is.


It probably depends on the drug. Most drugs are not "life-saving" drugs. I think you'd have a hard time suing if your Xanax did not perform at 100%.

For the drug companies (and I would assume users of the drugs) I would think erring on the conservative side makes sense to make sure efficacy is always met.

...but hey that expiration date on my milk is just a suggestion too, right


It's a "sell-by" date and usually milk is good for at least a couple of days afterwards. Even if it doesn't taste fresh, if you're otherwise healthy, it's not going to make you sick.
 
2012-10-25 06:48:43 PM  
Of course they are. Pharmaceutical companies aren't serving public welfare, they are in the business of making money. Look at all the shenanigans they pull with patents to keep a drug from going generic. This particular ploy is akin to lube shops telling you the oil in your car needs to be changed every 3000 miles.
 
2012-10-26 08:34:00 AM  

YoungLochinvar: Um, I *know* how expiration dates are done... can their lawyers just give me money instead?

Seriously, though, it's not an arbitrary decision, and a lot of it probably has to do with FDA regs. Basically, if you're a pharma company, you need to demonstrate product stability for the period of time you want to set for an expiration - so, if you want a three-year expiration date, you need to essentially have the product sitting around for 3 years on a shelf and then analyze it and prove that it still contains the listed amount of product (within 5-10% or so; I forget the exact specifications). There are also accelerated testing methods, for new drugs, but I forget the details for those as well.

What it comes down to is that companies would have to spend money to continually push the expiration dates back, and at a certain point why waste the money? If you know most people who buy a bottle of tylenol finish it within 2 years, and you've already got a 4-year expiration, then you'd be pissing money away continually pushing the exp date back. Some execs, of course, may willingly *halt* additional testing, for the purposes of getting artificially high turnover rates but I'm not sure you can force them to spend cash on that - you'd have to change the way the FDA does this (and taxpayers would have to pay for it).


Pretty much. Worked in Pharma for a bit (manufacturing vaccines) and part of any new drug licensing includes proving a compound is still chemically viable within the expiration timeframe. Know how they do that? They literally have to take samples and lock them away in best case scenarios, then test them every few months. So if you want a 2 year expiration date, they pull random samples and test it at intervals (sometimes every 3 months, sometimes 6 months) for 2 years.
 
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