Saturday, 23 February 2019

Expired drugs may remain effective, safe to use in a pinch

Image for illustration only

Even medicines that are years past their expiration date and haven't always been kept in strict climate-controlled conditions may still retain their original potency, a small study suggests.

That is good news for people working in remote areas of the world where sometimes an expired medication is the only one available and the alternative is having no way to treat a serious illness, the study authors write in the journal Wilderness & Environmental Medicine.

"The expiry date on a drug packet is the last date a drug company will guarantee the drug content and stability when stored in the recommended conditions and in the original packaging," said lead study author Dr. Emma Browne of the British Antarctic Survey Medical Unit in Plymouth, UK.

"This date is not necessarily the point at which the drug becomes ineffective or dangerous, and for many medications, this window may be far longer than the usual two-to-three-year expiry date," she told Reuters Health by email.

Read more @

My photo - Birds @ Pasir Ris park

birds @ pasir ris park - fishing

A public domain photo by me

Forum: Public should be aware of available medical subsidies

The public should be aware that the Medication Assistance Fund (MAF and MAF Plus) is readily available for non-standard drugs prescribed by public healthcare institutions.

These schemes are entirely different from MediFund and provide heavy subsidies for drugs which can be fairly costly, covering as much as 85% of the drugs' costs.

To be eligible, an applicant needs to possess either the Pioneer Generation or Community Health Assist Scheme cards, and the drugs must be listed within the schemes.

When in doubt, one can approach relevant healthcare workers to clarify and advise doctors to prescribe the applicable drugs once approved.

I had an unfortunate experience in which the availability of MAF was not communicated despite earlier clarifications, a lapse which was only realised after months of asking.

Information was still not forthcoming after corrective measures were taken. I sincerely hope this is a one-off case.

The general public needs to understand the various medical subsidies available, and public healthcare institutions should ensure that their staff is equipped with the relevant knowledge to advise patients accordingly.

Tham Zhi Qian


Eating nuts tied to lower heart disease risk for diabetics

People with diabetes who regularly eat nuts may be less likely to develop heart disease than their counterparts who rarely, if ever, consume nuts, a US study suggests.

Diabetics who ate at least five 28g servings of nuts a week were 17% less likely to develop heart disease than people with diabetes who had no more than one serving of nuts weekly, the study found.

Even just one serving of nuts might still be good for the heart, however.

For people with diabetes, adding just one extra serving of nuts a week was associated with a 3% lower risk of developing cardiac conditions and 6% lower risk of dying from heart problems.

Read more @