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March 27, 2006



This has to be a gag -- anyone check "Smoking Gun"? I had a summer job long ago working for a big pharma company. My job -- no joke -- was to sit in a secure wire cage inside a huge warehouse and open bottles of pills, tablets, capsules and liquid medicines that had been returned to us for what ever reason -- and dump them in the sewer.

It didn't matter why they were returned. Some were out of date, some had been mis-ordered (by a drug store, say), some had been damaged in transit -- all irrelevant. If, for any reason, these drugs weren't used exactly as originally intended, during which time they had passed outside of the company's control, they had to be destroyed.

I assume there were liability lawyers who had something to do with this. Have our shipping/tracking/inventory control systems progressed to such an extent over the past 30 years that we no longer need to worry about controlling drugs during transit -- even to the extent of being actually dispensed? We're wiling to send those back out to some poor schlub to use again? Madness!

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