“Expired” EpiPen???

NEJM

Check this out. Here you will find an article that advises us not to dispose of “expired” EpiPens because they “may” still work. Huh???

I have a couple of problems here. First, the EpiPen is designed to be truly life saving device for people experiencing a severe allergic reaction. I am not at all sure that if I were gasping for breath as a patient with a peanut allergy having unknowingly eaten a peanut, I would be interested in using a device that “may work.”

Second, this piece reminds us that expiration dates are typically based on how long a product has been studied, rather than how long the product remains “good.”

Third, the recent flap about EpiPen pricing was largely based on patients having to throw away their EpiPens every year, unused, and spending $400 to buy a new one. Is all this really necessary?

Bottom Line. This article is unfortunately based on a rather small scale analysis of “expired” EpiPens. Given what is at stake with this product and other drugs, is it perhaps time to reconsider how cavalier we have been in disposing of “expired” medications?

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