We don’t need to tell you that prescription medications are getting exorbitantly expensive. In 2015, spending on prescription drugs in the US rose to $457 billion, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, an 8 percent jump from the previous year. How much you paid out of pocket probably depends your issues and insurance, but consumers are feeling the increase.
A recent Consumer Reports survey found that a third of patients reported an increase in prescription drug costs, with most of them absorbing an average of $39 more per refill. Much of this problem is due to spikes in the prices of generic drugs. Among those for whom the price of pills shot up, 40 percent spent less on dining and entertainment, and 32 scrimped on groceries.
So given that people are bracing themselves at the CVS checkout, some might be tempted to swallow an expired antibiotic or pull an old pill jar from the back of the medicine cabinet. But is that really such a good idea?
“Long story short, if it is a tablet or capsule and is being used for a non-serious disease, where the results of sub-potency aren’t devastating, it’s likely okay to take it up to a year or two after the expiration date,” says C. Michael White, head of the department of pharmacy practice at the University of Connecticut’s School of Pharmacy.
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