Expirations dates: from misunderstanding to swindle Volume 12, issue 9, Novembre 2016

Professeur honoraire de pharmacologie médicale, Université de Montréal
* Tirés à part

The drug shelf life varies depending on the active ingredient, its formulation, lot, preservatives and the storage conditions. What is the reliability of the expiration date specified on the package? For many products, stocked in good condition and in their original packaging, this limit has in fact often nothing to do with the real limit that can exceed several years, or even sometimes decades. The expiration date specified does not imply a sudden loss of potency but encourages consumers to throw periodic use products that have probably retained enough of their power to remain relevant and to solicit not always justified renewals with both economic and ecological consequences. Of course, being cautious is certainly necessary and commonsense precautions should be observed.