Monday, August 11, 2008

FDA says drug stores sold expired medications

The Medicine Shoppe, a subsidiary of Cardinal Health (one of the “Big Three Distributors”), sold expired or presumed fake prescriptions to their customers. Granted this was just two of their stores located in Baltimore, but it does make one wonder – How did this happen?

Especially troubling is that this may just be the beginning. In Europe, officials are seeing an upward trend of expired product simply being relabeled to appear good. It is estimated that 10% of medicines sold there are counterfeited or adulterated.

The Medicine Shoppe's suspect medications and the conditions they treat include:

  • Lisinopril (20 milligrams) _ hypertension
  • Guaifenesin/Dextromethorphan (600 mg and 1000 mg) _ cough
  • Gabapentin (100 mg, 300 mg and 400 mg) _ epilepsy
  • Metoprolol (50 mg) _ hypertension
  • Nifedipine (30 mg) _ hypertension
  • Diclofenac Sodium (30 mg) _ anti-inflammatory
  • Glucophage (500 mg Extended Release) _ diabetes
  • Glucovance (125 mg and 500 mg) _ diabetes
  • Glipizide/Metformin (2.50 mg/250 mg) _ diabetes
  • Furosemide (20 mg) _ diuretic
  • Tamoxifen Citrate (10 mg) _ breast cancer
  • Metformin HCl ER (500 mg) _ diabetes
  • Calcitrol (0.25 micrograms) _ osteoporosis

It has long been assumed that if product was purchased straight from the manufacturer and/or one of the major distributors, that naturally, the medicine was pristine. However, these days that assumption, sadly, is no longer valid. This year alone, we have witnessed recalls from Baxter for adulterated heparin, Ranbaxy for counterfeit HIV medications, and NOW a major drug store chain for fake or expired prescriptions.

To view the full article from Associated Press, click here.

Consumers and health care professionals can report adverse events to the FDA's MedWatch program at 800-FDA-1088, by mail at MedWatch, HF-2, FDA, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Md 20852-9787, or online at

No comments: