Medicine: Clearing Out Old Medicines

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration decided last week that eight years was long enough for its staff and its panels of expert advisers to spend cleaning out the nation's medicine chest. No fewer than 369 items, among them some of the most widely prescribed drugs, should be thrown out, said the FDA, because its investigators have determined they are not effective for their claimed purposes or are actually hazardous. The lengthy catalogue includes many items that are already being withdrawn by their manufacturers; on others, the companies are not prepared to accept...

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