Letter Re: Veterinary Antibiotics

Thank you for responding to my e-mail. As a healthcare professional, many of us are going to have to make some really hard decisions in more difficult times when drugs will no longer be available. If it came down to having someone die or administering an out of date tetracycline, I would be happy to try the tetracycline out of date or not. Tough choices either way.

The reason I continue this discussion is due partly to an article I read in The Wall Street Journal, Tuesday, March 28, 2000, page A-16. ‘Many Drugs Prove Potent Long Past Expiration Dates.” {see: http://www.timestriponline.com/shelflife/drugexpiraton.htm] This article sites the findings of the Food and Drug Administration when they tested out of date (up to 15 years) military drug stockpile. The purpose was to see if the military could extend the life of its inventory. The testing included tetracycline and aspirin “and typically found batches effective for more than two years.” The results on over 100 drugs “showed that about 90% of them were safe and effective far past their original expiration date.” I am not in a position to obtain the full report but it must have been great [to read]. – Russ