Taking expired medications

GLENN ELLIS | 11/13/2017, 6:09 p.m.
Is expired medication effective and safe to take? Do drugs really stop working after the date stamped on the bottle?
Prescription medication blister packs. Stock photo

After extensive study, the vast majority of these medications were found to be completely effective for their intended use, including some that were 10 years beyond their expiration date!

Think about how much of a difference this would make in the skyrocketing costs of healthcare in this country!

In 2012, studies indicate, about 1 in 4 American adults ā€“ perhaps 50 million people ā€“ failed to fill a prescription they needed because of the cost. Among adults who were uninsured, the figure was 43 percent.

For older adults, who take four to five medicines on average per week, this is a crisis. Sadly, one in five seniors reports cutting back on basics like food or heat to afford prescription drugs. This is dangerous. Those with cardiovascular disease who said they took less medicine than directed due to cost were 50 percent more likely to experience angina, strokes or non-fatal heart attacks. For many others, cutting back on medicine led to faster health declines, increased hospitalizations and premature death.

And yet, each year, hospitals, pharmacies, manufacturers and nursing homes send billions of dollars worth of medicines to be destroyed.

Instead of being locked in furious political fights over that can have insurance, maybe we would be better served by looking at how much waste there is in the system.

Remember, Iā€™m not a doctor. I just sound like one.

Take good care of yourself and live the best life possible!


This column is for informational purposes only. If you have a medical condition or concern, please seek professional care from your doctor or other health professional. Glenn Ellis is a Health Advocacy Communications Specialist and is available through http://www.glennellis.com.