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Waste No More

It is important to examine the justification of policies that require an ophthalmic medication to be discarded before the expiration date listed on the bottle. Most commonly, the justification is not a scientifically based study, but rather a misinterpreted citation of some other group. These other groups can be the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the United States Pharmacopeia (USP), or The Joint Commission (TJC).

As it turns out, none of these groups require a medication to be discarded before the expiration date listed on the bottle. To be sure, it is possible to contaminate an ophthalmic bottle during use. No one suggests that a contaminated bottle be used to dispense a medication to a patient, particularly before surgery, but this is not a new issue and it has been reviewed scientifically.

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