St. Louis, MO: Three separate consumer fraud class action lawsuits have been filed against Pfizer (which makes Advil), Bayer (which makes Bayer aspirin) and Johnson & Johnson (which makes Tylenol Cold Multi-Symptom medications) over allegations the drug makers use "unconscionable, unfair, deceptive, unethical and illegal" means to promote the sales of their products. Specifically, the lawsuits claim that the these means involve the utilization of expiration dates to get consumers to throw away products that have passed their expiration dates, even though the companies know "that if stored properly these medications can and do remain chemically stable, safe and effective long after those dates."
According to the lawsuits, studies by the Food and Drug Administration, Harvard Medical School, and Johns Hopkins University have found 90% of more than 100 prescription and over-the-counter drugs were fine and could be used for as much as 15 years after their expiration dates: this excludes certain drugs like tetracycline, nitroglycerin, insulin, and liquid antibiotics.
The lawsuit claims that the purpose of the expiration dates is "[T]o increase defendants' sales and profits because consumers have to purchase replacement medications for those they have thrown out."The class is seeking actual and punitive damages for consumers that purchased products from Pfizer, Bayer and Johnson & Johnson.