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No sense in medicine use-by dates

Readers' letters | Published:

Having a nurse in the family is a double edged sword, in times of trouble she is the font of all knowledge and wisdom, and conversely when the man of the house, Me, brings forth the small plastic container housing a motley collection of pills and potions, some of which were bought during the last ice age, she rears up and I get it in stereo, from her and the lady of the house.

Medicines

My argument is that they are in sealed plastic containers, some in foil sealed strips, and therefore should be OK to take. She says that they are years out of date, and should be given a Viking burial, along with the open packet of plasters, the small tin of vitamin capsules, bought on our last trip abroad, nine years ago, and some loose individually wrapped cough sweets, from a petrol station, up in Scotland, 7 years ago.

We cannot be the only household on these islands that has somewhere squirreled away, a container of assorted tubs and cartons of off the shelf family remedy's for coughs and colds, constipation, hangovers and the 1,001 other misfortunes that strike the family home from time to time. I cannot see that the supposed run out date makes any sense, if it’s in a sealed container, what's the problem? I mean the gullible drink volcanic filtered water, that according to the advertisements has taken 10,000 years to percolate out of a spring, and they bottle it, and give it a run out date, why? Same with tinned food, I will still open stuff, even though it says on the tin that it ran out before coronation day. So why not household remedies? I mean it hasn't done me any harm, OK I admit a tin of stewed steak put me out of action for a few days, a few years back, my own fault, midnight nibbles is usually raiding the fridge, half a pork pie, bit of cheese, stewed steak was a tin too far, and she done her nut, and I lost a few pounds, from both ends.

Daughter has issued a command; I am to drag my sorry self up to the chemist (Boots the chemist, Lloyds pharmacy? Discuss) and restock with, a list of un-pronounceable named chemicals in pill form, to replace the bin load of old stuff now confined to oblivion. I return home with a hernia inducing load of boxes and bottles, and under the watchful gaze of her indoors, carefully place them into their allotted place in the kitchen cupboard, where they will reside until used, or ceremoniously thrown out during the next moratorium.

In my drawer, under our bed, is some 58 pattern webbing, in one of the ammo pouches is a tin, in it is my escape and evasion tackle, a left over from my misspent youth in the army, in the tin, among the other stuff are pills and potions, survival for the use of, don't tell the wife, and for God’s sake, the nurse. Nothing changes only the uniform.

Tony Levy

Wednesfield

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