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Expiry Date Dilemma

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This blog post will contain a description of my feet, if you hate feet you should probably stop reading now just to be on the safe side. On returning home for the Easter break I found I had heat rash down the outside of my left foot and the itching was driving me insane. So my Dad, being the helpful creature he is, suggested I use some Athlete's foot cream that was in the bathroom. This situation has occurred before and the cream in question was six months out of date, but my Dad hadn't realised and had still been using it. The point I'm trying to make is this, to what extent are patients aware of expiry dates on products? Another example is my housemate who had tonsilitis around November time last year and to relieve the symptoms got some Benzydamine mouthwash. She then used the same mouthwash four months later when she got tonsilitis again, which was two months past the expiry date. I realise this may not be the most pressing issue in the world, however it surely can't be benefitting the patients either because the medicine won't have the full desired effect. The only way I can think of combatting it is via increasing the size of the font on the label, and on dispensing stressing its importance. I realise that the dates on these products aren't the limit for the safety of the drug and are the limit to which the manufacturer is able to guarantee quality. However I still think that people should be more aware of them than they currently are, then again maybe people are very conscious of this and I'm surrounded by an oblivious minority? Either way I definitely think that this issue is bigger than using Milk thats a couple of days past its sell by date.

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From: Tomorrow's pharmacist blog

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