Health Media Articles
Excerpts of Key Health Media Articles from Major Media
Below are many highly revealing excerpts of important health articles reported in the mainstream media suggesting a cover-up.
Links are provided to the full articles on major media websites. If any link should fail to function, click here
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, we can and will build a brighter future
For an index to revealing excerpts of media articles on several dozen engaging topics, click here
Food cravings engineered by industry
2013-03-05, CBC News (Canada's public broadcasting company)
Pat Guillet is a food addict. She has finally wrestled her addiction under control and now she counsels other food addicts to avoid processed food. "Yeah, just the sight of the packages will trigger cravings," she said. Craving. It doesn't just happen to food addicts. "These companies rely on deep science and pure science to understand how we're attracted to food and how they can make their foods attractive to us," Michael Moss said. The New York Times investigative reporter spent four years prying open the secrets of the food industry’s scientists. "This was like a detective story for me, getting inside the companies with thousands of pages of inside documents and getting their scientists and executives to reveal to me the secrets of how they go at this," he said. What he found became the title of his new book, Salt, Sugar Fat: How the food giants hooked us. "I spent time with the top scientists at the largest companies in this country and it's amazing how much math and science and regression analysis and energy they put into finding the very perfect amount of salt, sugar and fat in their products that will send ... their products flying off the shelves and have us buy more, eat more and …make more money for them."
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on corporate corruption, click here.
Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us
2013-02-20, Time Magazine
The Texas Medical Center [is] a nearly 1,300-acre, 280-building complex of hospitals and related medical facilities, of which MD Anderson is the lead brand name. Medicine had obviously become a huge business. In fact, of Houston’s top 10 employers, five are hospitals, including MD Anderson with 19,000 employees. How did that happen? Where’s all that money coming from? And where is it going? I have spent the past seven months trying to find out by analyzing a variety of bills from hospitals like MD Anderson, doctors, drug companies and every other player in the American health care ecosystem. When you look behind the bills that ... patients receive, you see nothing rational — no rhyme or reason — about the costs they faced in a marketplace they enter through no choice of their own. The only constant is the sticker shock for the patients who are asked to pay. Yet those who work in the health care industry and those who argue over health care policy seem inured to the shock. Why exactly are the bills so high? What are the reasons ... that cancer means a half-million- or million-dollar tab? Why should a trip to the emergency room for chest pains that turn out to be indigestion bring a bill that can exceed the cost of a semester of college? What makes a single dose of even the most wonderful wonder drug cost thousands of dollars? Why does simple lab work done during a few days in a hospital cost more than a car? And what is so different about the medical ecosystem that causes technology advances to drive bills up instead of down?
Note: For the amazing answers to all these questions, read this detailed investigative report in its entirety at the link above. For more on corruption in the medical industry, click here.
Drug Overdose Deaths up for 11th Consecutive Year
2013-02-20, ABC News/Associated Press
Drug overdose deaths rose for the 11th straight year, federal data show, and most of them were accidents involving addictive painkillers despite growing attention to risks from these medicines. "The big picture is that this is a big problem that has gotten much worse quickly," said Dr. Thomas Frieden, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which gathered and analyzed the data. In 2010, the CDC reported, there were 38,329 drug overdose deaths nationwide. Medicines, mostly prescription drugs, were involved in nearly 60 percent of overdose deaths that year, overshadowing deaths from illicit narcotics. The report [in the] Journal of the American Medical Association ... details which drugs were at play in most of the fatalities. As in previous recent years, opioid drugs — which include OxyContin and Vicodin — were the biggest problem, contributing to 3 out of 4 medication overdose deaths. Medication-related deaths accounted for 22,134 of the drug overdose deaths in 2010. Anti-anxiety drugs including Valium were among common causes of medication-related deaths, involved in almost 30 percent of them. Among the medication-related deaths, 17 percent were suicides. The report's data came from death certificates, which aren't always clear on whether a death was a suicide or a tragic attempt at getting high. Frieden said the data show a need for more prescription drug monitoring programs at the state level, and more laws shutting down "pill mills" — doctor offices and pharmacies that over-prescribe addictive medicines.
Note: Over 38,000 drug deaths are more than the 32,000 automobile deaths in the US. This means that the risk of dying from drugs is now greater than the risk of car accidents. For lots more reliable information showing how the medical industry can actually be dangerous to your health, click here.
Wild hospital cost disparities revealed
2013-02-11, San Francisco Chronicle/New York Times
Jaime Rosenthal, a senior at Washington University in St. Louis, called more than 100 hospitals in every state last summer, seeking prices for a hip replacement for a 62-year-old grandmother who was uninsured but had the means to pay herself. Only about half of the hospitals, including top-ranked orthopedic centers and community hospitals, could provide any sort of price estimate, despite repeated calls. Those that could gave quotes that varied by a factor of more than 10, from $11,100 to $125,798. Rosenthal's grandmother was fictitious, created for a summer research project on health care costs. But the findings, which form the basis of a paper released Monday by JAMA Internal Medicine, [highlight] the unsustainable growth of U.S. health care costs and an opaque medical system in which prices are often hidden from consumers. Although many experts have said that Americans must become more discerning consumers to help rein in health care costs, the study illustrates how hard that can be. Researchers emphasized that studies have found little consistent correlation between higher prices and better quality in U.S. health care. Cram said there was no data that "Mercedes" hip implants were better than cheaper options, for example. Jamie Court, the president of Consumer Watchdog in Santa Monica, said: "If one hospital can put in a hip for $12,000, then every hospital should be able to do it." With such immense variation in prices, he said, "There is no real price. It's about profit."
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on corruption in the health care industry, click here.
More mammograms mean more problems for older women, study finds
2013-02-06, Los Angeles Times
The American Cancer Society advises all women over 40 to get a mammogram once a year to screen for signs of breast cancer. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, a panel of experts that advises the federal government on health matters, says most women need to get mammograms only once every two years, and only when they’re between the ages of 50 and 74. Who’s right? A new study comes down on the side of the task force. Researchers examined records of about 140,000 women ages 66 to 89 who had mammograms between 1999 and 2006. Some of the women had mammograms every year, and some of them had them every other year. It turned out that having annual mammograms did not reduce women’s risk of being diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer, as might have been expected. When all the numbers were crunched, “the proportion [of women] with adverse tumor characteristics was similar among annual and biennial screeners,” the researchers wrote in a study published [in] the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. But they did find harm. The more times that women were screened, the greater their odds of getting a false positive reading on a mammogram. For example, among women between the ages of 66 and 74 who already had health problems, 48% of those who had annual mammograms had at least one false-positive reading during a 10-year period. But among those who were screened every other year, only 29% had a false-positive result.
Note: You can read a summary of the study online here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on health issues, click here.
Harvard Study Confirms Fluoride Reduces Children's IQ
2013-01-28, Huffington Post
A recently-published Harvard University meta-analysis funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has concluded that children who live in areas with highly fluoridated water have "significantly lower" IQ scores than those who live in low fluoride areas. In a 32-page report that can be downloaded free of charge from Environmental Health Perspectives, the researchers said: "A recent report from the U.S. National Research Council ... concluded that adverse effects of high fluoride concentrations in drinking water may be of concern and that additional research is warranted. Fluoride may cause neurotoxicity in laboratory animals, including effects on learning and memory. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of published studies on increased fluoride exposure in drinking water and neurodevelopmental delays. Findings from our meta-analyses of 27 studies published over 22 years suggest an inverse association between high fluoride exposure and children's intelligence. The results suggest that fluoride may be a developmental neurotoxicant that affects brain development at exposures much below those that can cause toxicity in adults. Our results support the possibility of adverse effects of fluoride exposures on children's neurodevelopment. There are so many scientific studies showing the direct, toxic effects of fluoride on your body, it's truly remarkable that it's not considered a scientific consensus by now. Despite the evidence against it, fluoride is still added to 70 percent of U.S. public drinking water supplies.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on health issues, click here.
iDoctor: Could a Smartphone Be the Future of Medicine
2013-01-25, NBC News
One of the world’s top physicians, Dr. Eric Topol, has a prescription that could improve your family’s health and make medical care cheaper – the smartphone. Topol has long been one of the world’s foremost cardiologists. He has now become the foremost expert in the exploding field of wireless medicine, and this explosion, he says, is about to make our health care better and cheaper. He shows how simply his modified iphone produces a cardiogram for a patient. The device was approved by the FDA in December and is now sold to physicians for $199. Topol tells his patient he just saved a $100 technician’s fee. [Topol:] These days i’m actually prescribing a lot more apps than I am medications. You can take the phone and make it a lab on a chip -- you can do blood tests, saliva tests, urine tests, all kinds of things. Actually I think it helps make the whole interaction much more intimate, because now I’m sharing the results in realtime. There’s so much technology now that we could — by using digital [infra]structure that exists today -- make the office visit an enjoyable thing. [Topol] had a reputation for brashness. He questioned the safety of the hugely profitable pain killer Vioxx and eventually forced it off the market.
Note: To see the full text of this inspiring video, click here.
Evidence grows for narcolepsy link to GSK swine flu shot
Emelie Olsson is plagued by hallucinations and nightmares. When she wakes up, she's often paralyzed, unable to breathe properly or call for help. During the day she can barely stay awake, and often misses school or having fun with friends. She is only 14, but at times she has wondered if her life is worth living. Emelie is one of around 800 children in Sweden and elsewhere in Europe who developed narcolepsy, an incurable sleep disorder, after being immunized with the Pandemrix H1N1 swine flu vaccine made by British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline in 2009. Their fate, coping with an illness that all but destroys normal life, is developing into what the health official who coordinated Sweden's vaccination campaign calls a "medical tragedy" that will demand rising scientific and medical attention. Europe's drugs regulator has ruled Pandemrix should no longer be used in people aged under 20. "There's no doubt in my mind whatsoever that Pandemrix increased the occurrence of narcolepsy onset in children in some countries - and probably in most countries," says [Emmanuel] Mignot, a specialist in the sleep disorder at Stanford University in the United States. In total, the GSK shot was given to more than 30 million people in 47 countries during the 2009-2010 H1N1 swine flu pandemic. Because it contains an adjuvant, or booster, it was not used in the United States because drug regulators there are wary of adjuvanted vaccines.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the major risks of flu shots, click here. If you are thinking of getting a flu vaccine, it is most highly recommended to educate yourself on risk vs. benefits. See this link for more. To see Piers Morgan receive a flu shot on the Dr. Oz show and then come down with a flu less than 10 days later after having been guaranteed that wouldn't happen, click here.
Urban Homesteading Video: Growing What You Eat
2013-01-21, Urban Gardening Digest
Urban homesteading differs from urban gardening in that it is a way of living that endeavors to be as self reliant as is possible in our modern age. The video [available at the above link] shows one family’s commitment to urban homesteading and how they have freed themselves from the urban rat race, grow their own food, and much, much more. In Pasadena, California, is a 4,000 sq. ft. urban homestead, owned by the Dervaes family. This homestead feeds a family of four, producing about 6,000 lbs. of food annually, on just 1/10th acre [1/25th hectare]. 63 year old Jules Dervaes, started this backyard urban farm 10 years ago. It is a deliberate throw back to the story days of self reliant rural America. Jules and his children grow almost all of the food they need and everyone pitches in. At the time of this video, they were also raising eight chickens, four ducks, and two goats. The ducks and chickens lay thousands of eggs a year and keep the bugs in check. Over 400 varieties of vegetables, fruits, and edible flowers are grown in this compact space. Enough [is grown] to feed themselves with plenty left over for local chefs looking for organic, pesticide-free produce. Front porch sales net the family about $20,000 a year, which they use to purchase things that they can not grow on their urban homestead, such as wheat, rice, and oats. In addition to growing their own food, Dervaes family has gone off the grid. Their ‘gizmos’ are all hand powered. What little electricity that they do use is generated by solar panels.
Note: Watch the full, nine-minute video at the link above to get a closer look at this urban homesteading lifestyle. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
'Quadruple helix' DNA seen in human cells
2013-01-20, BBC News
Cambridge University scientists say they have seen four-stranded DNA at work in human cells for the first time. The famous "molecule of life", which carries our genetic code, is more familiar to us as a double helix. But researchers tell the journal Nature Chemistry that the "quadruple helix" is also present in our cells, and in ways that might possibly relate to cancer. They suggest that control of the structures could provide novel ways to fight the disease. "The existence of these structures may be loaded when the cell has a certain genotype or a certain dysfunctional state," said Prof Shankar Balasubramanian from Cambridge's department of chemistry. Balasubramanian's group has been pursuing a four-stranded version of the molecule that scientists have produced in the test tube now for a number of years. The new research is said to be the first to firmly pinpoint the quadruple helix in human cells.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on promising new cancer treatments, any of which have been suppressed, click here.
New UN treaty on mercury requires countries to phase down dental amalgam
2013-01-19, Yahoo News
While no phase-out date was set, just-completed negotiations by the Intergovernmental Negotiation Committee ... have resulted in many important provisions to reduce and eliminate mercury release and exposure, including binding requirements for countries to phase down dental amalgam. "This is the beginning of the end of dental amalgam globally," said Michael T. Bender, director of the Mercury Policy Project, a US-based NGO, and co-coordinator of the Zero Mercury Working Group. "We applaud the leadership role the US played in jump-starting support for a phase-down ... along with the concrete steps of the Nordic countries, Switzerland and Japan took in phasing out dental amalgam." "Countries that have phased out amalgam recognize that mercury-free dental fillings are readily available, affordable and effective," said Charles G. Brown, [of the] World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry, a global coalition of NGOs, dentists and consumers from over 25 countries. "This pushes the reset button on dentistry. Now the rest of the world can benefit from the experience of those countries."
Some With Autism Diagnosis Can Overcome Symptoms, Study Finds
2013-01-16, New York Times
Doctors have long believed that disabling autistic disorders last a lifetime, but a new study has found that some children who exhibit signature symptoms of the disorder recover completely. The study, posted online ... by the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, is the largest to date of such extraordinary cases and is likely to alter the way that scientists and parents think and talk about autism, experts said. The findings suggest that the so-called autism spectrum contains a small but significant group who make big improvements in behavioral therapy for unknown, perhaps biological reasons, but that most children show much smaller gains. Deborah Fein of the University of Connecticut at Storrs recruited 34 people who had been diagnosed before the age of 5 and no longer had any symptoms. They ranged in age from 8 to 21 years old and early in their development were in the higher-than-average range of the autism spectrum. The team conducted extensive testing of its own, including interviews with parents in some cases, to gauge current social and communication skills. On measures of social and communication skills, the recovered group scored significantly better than 44 peers who had a diagnosis of high-functioning autism or Asperger’s syndrome. Dr. Fein emphasized the importance of behavioral therapy. “These people did not just grow out of their autism,” she said. “I have been treating children for 40 years and never seen improvements like this unless therapists and parents put in years of work.”
Note: There are numerous documented cases where an abundance of acceptance and love led to autistic children being able to lead normal or near normal lives. As one example, the excellent book Giant Steps by Barry Kaufman relates the story of how he was able to heal his own fully autistic child. You can read the relevant excerpt from the book at this link. In the book, he also relates the stunning story of the cure of another severely autistic child by fully accepting the behavior of the child as normal. Great book!
U.S. cancer death rates decline
2013-01-15, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
A report released this month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and three prominent cancer research groups shows that cancer deaths in the United States are declining for men, women and children. New cancer diagnoses also declined for men from 2000 through 2009, the period the report examines, but remained stable for women and increased slightly for children. Here are the numbers: 1.8%: The percentage that cancer deaths decreased for both men and children from 2000 through 2009. For women, the decrease was 1.4 percent. 10%:
The percentage that death rates decreased in the most common cancers in men. 15: The number of cancers most common in women that showed decreased death rates.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on promising cancer treatments and trends, click here.
Why Americans are dying earlier than their international peers
Despite spending more per person on health care than any other country, Americans are getting sicker and dying younger than our international peers -- a problem persisting across all ages and both genders. [The National Research Council and Institute Of Medicine] panel released its report, titled "U.S. Health in International Perspective: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health," on [January 9]. "Our panel was unprepared for the gravity of the finding we uncovered," chair Steven Woolf wrote in the report's preface. Data from 2007 show Americans' life expectancy is 3.7 years shorter for men and 5.2 years shorter for women than in the leading nations -- Switzerland for men and Japan for women. As of 2011, 27 countries had higher life expectancies at birth than the United States. "The tragedy is not that the United States is losing a contest with other countries," the report states, "but that Americans are dying and suffering from illness and injury at rates that are demonstrably unnecessary." The report outlines nine health areas where the United States lags behind other rich nations, including infant mortality, homicides, teen pregnancy, drug-related deaths, obesity and disabilities. And our children are less likely than children in peer countries to reach their fifth birthday. "Many of these conditions have a particularly profound effect on young people, reducing the odds that Americans will live to age 50," the report states.
Note: For a much deeper analysis of the reasons behind this, see Dr. Mercola's insightful comments at this link.
Dr. Robert Lustig crusades against sugar
2013-01-01, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
Dr. Robert Lustig [has just published] his first book, Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease - a scientific and passionate diatribe against processed food in general and sugar in particular. Sugar, he argues, is the major culprit behind the country's explosive obesity rates. Sugar has poisoned the food supply and is altering people's biology, compelling them to eat more and move less. Sugar consumption is not unlike nicotine or alcohol addiction, he says, and kicking the habit - and in turn, reducing the waistlines of Americans - can't be done by sheer individual willpower. In other words: don't blame the fat for being fat, and don't expect most of them to drop the weight on their own. In 2009, a presentation he gave on sugar was posted to YouTube and has since collected more than 3 million hits. What Lustig suggested, and has since broadcast as a public health disaster in the making, is that sugar is poisonous. His scientific theory is that sugar in large quantities drives up insulin secretion. Insulin triggers the body to either use sugar as fuel or store it as fat, and Lustig argues that fructose is more likely to end up as fat, especially in the liver. Plus, insulin blocks a hormone called leptin, which signals to the brain when the body needs more or less energy. A lack of leptin tells the brain that the body doesn't have enough energy, which sets off efforts to increase and preserve fuel. In other words, it makes people want to eat more and move less.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on health issues, click here.
Experimental treatment for PTSD: Ecstasy
More than 7 million Americans suffer from PTSD, and by most estimates, only half of them -- at best -- are ever cured. A decade ago, the widely acknowledged need for better treatments opened the door to [South Carolina psychiatrist Dr. Michael] Mithoefer and his unconventional approach. By ... February 2005, the soft-spoken, ponytailed Mithoefer had managed to convince the Drug Enforcement Administration to green-light a study of Ecstasy as an adjunct to psychotherapy. He'd gotten the 3,4-methylenedioxy-methylamphetamine (MDMA) -- the chemical name for pure Ecstasy -- from Rick Doblin, the founder of a MAPS, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies. The group's stated purpose is to develop "medical, legal and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana." It wants to turn mind-altering drugs like Ecstasy into prescription medicine. To win broader acceptance for MDMA -- and for cousins like LSD and psilocybin, the mind-altering compound in so-called magic mushrooms -- "the medical route was the only route. Everything else was blocked." That meant a formal plan for drug development: study protocols, institutional review boards and the rest. Mithoefer, a University of Virginia-trained clinician who specializes in trauma and had a long-running interest in MDMA, was the perfect partner.
Note: To watch a CNN video clip on this showing remarkable success in treating PTSD, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on beneficial mind-altering drugs, click here.
Tobacco companies ordered to publicly admit deception on smoking dangers
Tobacco companies have been ordered by a federal judge to publicly admit, through advertisements and package warnings, that they deceived American consumers for decades about the dangers of smoking. Federal Judge Gladys Kessler issued her ruling [on November 27] in one of the last legal steps settling liability in the long-running government prosecution of cigarette makers. "By ensuring that consumers know that [tobacco companies] have misled the public in the past on the issue of secondhand smoke in addition to putting forth the fact that a scientific consensus on this subject exists," said Kessler, "defendants will be less likely to attempt to argue in the future that such a consensus does not exist." Several other lawsuits over cigarette labeling are pending in federal court, part of a two-decade federal and state effort to force tobacco companies to limit their advertising, and settle billions of dollars in state and private class-action claims over the health dangers of smoking. The judge, six years ago, concluded that tobacco companies were guilty of racketeering, and had ordered them to put tougher warning labels and other language in their marketing.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on corporate corruption, click here.
A ‘Party Drug’ May Help the Brain Cope With Trauma
2012-11-20, New York Times
Hundreds of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with post-traumatic stress have recently contacted a husband-and-wife team who work in suburban South Carolina to seek help. Many are desperate, pleading for treatment and willing to travel to get it. The soldiers have no interest in traditional talking cures or prescription drugs that have given them little relief. They are lining up to try an alternative: MDMA, better known as Ecstasy, a party drug that surfaced in the 1980s and ’90s that can induce pulses of euphoria and a radiating affection. Government regulators criminalized the drug in 1985, placing it on a list of prohibited substances that includes heroin and LSD. But in recent years, regulators have licensed a small number of labs to produce MDMA for research purposes. In a paper posted online ... by the Journal of Psychopharmacology, Michael and Ann Mithoefer, the husband-and-wife team offering the treatment — which combines psychotherapy with a dose of MDMA — write that they found 15 of 21 people who recovered from severe post-traumatic stress in the therapy in the early 2000s reported minor to virtually no symptoms today. The Mithoefers — he is a psychiatrist and she is a nurse — collaborated on the study with researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina and the nonprofit Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies. The patients in this group included mostly rape victims, and experts familiar with the work cautioned that it was preliminary, based on small numbers, and its applicability to war trauma entirely unknown.
Note: For the paper on this remarkable study published published online in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on beneficial mind-altering drugs, click here.
Iraq records huge rise in birth defects
2012-10-14, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
It played unwilling host to one of the bloodiest battles of the Iraq war. Fallujah's ... residents changed the name of their "City of Mosques" to "the polluted city" after the United States launched two massive military campaigns eight years ago. A new study reports a "staggering rise" in birth defects among Iraqi children conceived in the aftermath of the war. High rates of miscarriage, toxic levels of lead and mercury contamination and spiralling numbers of birth defects ranging from congenital heart defects to brain dysfunctions and malformed limbs have been recorded. There is "compelling evidence" to link the increased numbers of defects and miscarriages to military assaults, says Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, one of the lead authors of the report and an environmental toxicologist at the University of Michigan's School of Public Health. US marines first bombarded Fallujah in April 2004. Seven months later, the marines stormed the city for a second time, using some of the heaviest US air strikes deployed in Iraq. American forces later admitted that they had used white phosphorus shells, although they never admitted to using depleted uranium, which has been linked to high rates of cancer and birth defects. The new findings, published in the [Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology], will bolster claims that US and Nato munitions used in the conflict led to a widespread health crisis in Iraq. The latest study found that in Fallujah, more than half of all babies surveyed were born with a birth defect between 2007 and 2010. Before the siege, this figure was more like one in 10. Prior to the turn of the millennium, fewer than 2 per cent of babies were born with a defect.
Note: Similar defects have been found among children born in Basra after British troops invaded, according to the report at the link above. For a five-minute BBC clip showing how the damage inflicted on Iraqi babies is being covered up at the highest levels, click here. For more on this, click here.
Are we throwing away 'expired' medications too soon?
A new laboratory analysis of eight prescription drugs that expired between 28 and 40 years ago has found that most have remained just as potent as they were on the day they were made. Overall, the eight drugs included 14 different active ingredients, including aspirin, codeine and hydrocodone. In 86% of cases, the study found, the amount of active ingredient present in the drugs was at least 90% of the amount indicated on the label. That falls within the range deemed acceptable by the Food and Drug Administration. It's impossible to say from the study results alone whether the eight drugs would be effective if used today, but "there's no reason to think that they're not," says Lee Cantrell, the lead author of the study and a professor of clinical pharmacy at the University of California, San Francisco. Most drugs are dated to expire after one to five years, but as the results show, that time frame doesn't necessarily correlate to a drug's potency, Cantrell says. "All [the expiration date] means from the manufacturers' standpoint is that they're willing to guarantee the potency and efficacy for the drug for that long," he says. "It has nothing to do with the actual shelf life." "We're spending billions and billions on medications and medication turnover," Cantrell says. "If a drug has expired, you've got to throw it away, it goes into a landfill, and you have to get a new prescription. This could potentially have a significant impact on cost."
Note: A Wall Street Journal article from the year 2000 also concluded that many drugs last far longer than their expiration dates. Read it at this link.