What Can Be Done With Expired Pharmaceuticals? A Review Of Literature As It Pertains To Special Operations Force's Medics

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Culbertson NT 11(2). 1 - 6 (Journal Article)

Over the past decade, increasing evidence suggests that pharmaceuticals may continue to be potent beyond their date of expiration. Despite this evidence, we have not yet experienced a change in United States federal policy that would recommend usage of expired pharmaceuticals. While the scientific community and federal regulators continue to study the matter, the medical community is often guilty of misunderstanding the nuances of the issue. As a result, many healthcare professionals misinform their peers and their patients on either the appropriateness or inappropriateness of taking expired medications. Even though both the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) do not recommend the dosing of expired pharmaceuticals at this time, discussion of the issue is warranted in order to understand the potential behind some expired drugs and to encourage further research. This discussion is particularly relevant to the Special Operations medical community, since Special Operations Force's (SOF) medic s frequently encounter expired medication overseas. Given thei r unique sk ill set and working environ ment, the SOF medic should be familiar with the potential applications of expired medications, including their drawbacks.

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