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Healthcare Glossary

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Shelf life

The period of time which a product can be stored, under specified conditions, and remain in a suitable condition for consumption. Pharmaceutical companies estimate the shelf life (and then expiration date) of a drug to determine the amount of time the drug is at acceptable levels of potency, color, etc that are agreed with government health authorities.

See also:
National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)
Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI)

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