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Pharmacist FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions for Pharmacists on Outdated Drugs

Q: Our local church group is planning to go on a medical mission to Central America. Can I take outdated drugs and samples on that trip?

A: Federal rules prohibit the use of outdated drugs in this way. Samples are also not intended for this purpose but may be used if complete treatments can be provided. Boxes of assorted samples of medications should not be left as donations.

Another solution is to contact MAP International (Medical Assistance Programs). This is a nonprofit relief and development organization based in Brunswick, Georgia. MAP can provide in-date and appropriate medicines for this purpose at a reasonable cost through their "Medicines for Missions" program. You can receive their guidelines and an application through their website at or by calling Becky Bohl at 800/225-8550.


Q: What are the consequences of a pharmaceutical manufacturer failing to follow the Board's rule on return goods?

A: North Carolina statute in the Product Selection Law G.S. 90-85.27-.31 presents that a pharmacist may select any equivalent drug providing the product meets certain standards and the prescriber has not prevented this in specific ways. Among those standards is that the manufacturer shall have adequate provisions for return of outdated drugs through its distributor or otherwise. The Board adopted a rule on this subject which defines adequate provision for returns as meaning that drugs can be returned up to six months after the label expiration date for prompt full credit or replacement. A finding by the Board that a manufacturer does not meet this standard will cause that manufacturer's products to be ineligible for use in product selection or substitution. For example, if Acme Pharmaceutical Company marketed diazepam then a prescription written for Valium or diazepam could not be filled with the Acme product. It would be possible for the Acme product to be used if the prescriber specified that the Acme product be dispensed.


Q: How can a pharmacist know which companies are in compliance with the Board's rule on RETURN OF OUTDATED DRUGS?

A: A list of companies follows and their products are eligible for use in product selection:

Company Date
Abbot Laboratories 4/19/99
Astra USA 9/09/96
Alcon Laboratories 12/21/98
Barr Labs 7/14/97
Barre-National/Alpharma 7/2/98
Baxter Healthcare 4/19/99
Bock 8/12/96
Boots Pharmaceuticals 6/29/98
Bradley Pharmaceuticals 7/16/98
Braintree Labs 7/13/98
Carolina Medical Products Co. 10/14/97
Ciba-Geigy 6/25/98
Ciba-Vision 6/25/98
Copley Pharmaceutical 8/12/96
Creighton Pharmaceuticals 12/4/98
Dey Laboratories 6/25/98
Duramed Pharmaceutical 8/12/96
Ethex 8/12/96
Forest Pharmaceutical 6/29/95
Fougera & Company 7/23/98
Fujisawa Healthcare, Inc 5/11/99
Galderma Labs 8/12/96
Gen Dern Corp. 8/26/96
Geneva Pharmaceuticals 6/25/98
Gensia Labs 12/4/98
Glaxo Welcome 10/08/98
Goldline 6/1/93
Hoffman-LaRoche 8/3/98
Medirex 6/17/98
Merck & Company 6/19/98
Muro Pharmaceutical 3/17/93
Pharmacia & Upjohn 8/20/96
Purdue Frederick Company 4/19/99
Qualitest Products 6/17/98
R & D Labs 6/22/98
Roxanne Labs 6/22/98
Roberts Pharmaceuticals 7/14/98
Rugby Labs/Watson Labs 6/22/98
Sanofi Pharmaceuticals 6/29/98
Schering-Plough Corp 4/8/97
Sidmak Labs 8/12/96
Teva Pharmaceuticals 6/22/98
UDL Labs 8/11/94
Upsher-Smith Labs 7/2/98
US Bioscience, Inc 8/12/94
Westwood Squibb Pharmaceuticals 10/15/96
Wyeth-Ayerst Labs 6/19/98

Companies whose products ARE NOT eligible for product selection are:
Company Action Date
Central Pharmaceuticals Consent Order 10/17/94
Cetylite Industries, Inc. Board Hearing 12/15/98
Jerome Stevens Board Hearing 12/1/92
SoloPak Board Hearing 12/15/98


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