Maryland residents are being taken advantage of by drug companies

Austin Kirk

By Austin Kirk
Posted November 11, 2006


This morning on WBAL-TV Channel 11 in Baltimore, there was an investigative report regarding a Maryland law which requires that all prescriptions dispensed carry an expiration date of one year.  In many cases the expiration dates provided by the manufacturers are several years, yet Maryland residents are told that their medications expire within one year.    This is costing Marylanders millions of dollars in prescription expenses and appears to be designed to increase the profits for pharmaceutical companies. 

In the piece, there was an interview with a respresentative from the pharmaceutical industry who attempted to deflect this arbitrary one year expiration date on all Maryland medications to the legislature.  This statute demonstrates the influence of lobbiest and large corporations on state politics.  The law requires Maryland residents to buy new medications when the current bottle they have is perfectly fine.  This creates a particular problem with seasonal medications, such as allergy medications, which are often put away at the end of the season until the next year.

Placing an accurate and fair expiration date with clear instructions from the physician on how the medication should be used is sufficient to protect users.  Providing an arbitrary one year expiration date benefits the large pharmaceutical companies at the expense of insurance carriers and Maryland residents.

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