The box of prescription drugs had been forgotten in a back closet of a
retail pharmacy for so long that some of the pills predated the 1969
moon landing. Most were 30 to 40 years past their expiration dates 2014
possibly toxic, probably worthless.
But to Lee Cantrell, who helps
run the California Poison Control System, the cache was an opportunity
to answer an enduring question about the actual shelf life of drugs:
Could these drugs from the bell-bottom era still be potent?
called Roy Gerona, a University of California, San Francisco,
researcher who specializes in analyzing chemicals. Gerona had grown up
in the Philippines and had seen people recover from sickness by taking
expired drugs with no apparent ill effects.
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