Every year in the United States, medication bottles are thrown away because they are past their expiration date. This results in a waste of $765 billion dollars a year in thrown-out medications. That is one fourth of our total health care spending!
However, multiple studies have shown that medications remain fully potent long past their expiration dates. A study in 2006 found that on average, medications are still fully effective for four years past the expiration date on the bottle!
The American Medical Association has tried to get the FDA to lengthen the expiration dates based on the studies, but the effort has not been successful to date.