Canadian drug expiration dating
Are there recommendations about the best way to store medications?Are there certain drugs that should never be used past their expiration date?Drug expiration dates exist on most medication labels, including prescription, over-the-counter (OTC) and dietary (herbal) supplements. For legal and liability reasons, manufacturers will not make recommendations about the stability of drugs past the original expiration date.
Shelf life depends on the degradation mechanism of the specific product.
Most can be influenced by several factors: exposure to light, heat, moisture, transmission of gases, mechanical stresses, and contamination by things such as micro-organisms.
According to the USDA, "canned foods are safe indefinitely as long as they are not exposed to freezing temperatures, or temperatures above 90 °F (32.2° C)". In most food stores, waste is minimized by using stock rotation, which involves moving products with the earliest sell by date from the warehouse to the sales area, and then to the front of the shelf, so that most shoppers will pick them up first and thus they are likely to be sold before the end of their shelf life.
This is important, as consumers enjoy fresher goods, and furthermore some stores can be fined for selling out of date products; most if not all would have to mark such products down as wasted, resulting in a financial loss.
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.
So the expiration date doesn’t really indicate a point at which the medication is no longer effective or has become unsafe to use.
It applies to cosmetics, foods and beverages, medical devices, medicines, explosives, pharmaceutical drugs, chemicals, tires, batteries and many other perishable items.
In some regions, an advisory best before, mandatory use by or freshness date is required on packaged perishable foods.
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