I'm discussing the plot of a novel-in-progress with another writer. As part of her research, she asked me whether there were any legal restrictions on whether one can keep expired prescription drugs. Such restrictions might include how much of any given drug (or type of drug) one could keep; how long one could keep it; etc. (We know it's illegal to provide another person with a scheduled narcotic prescribed for oneself, of course.)
I don't know the answer to that question, and Internet searches have yielded little fruit. I don't know if it's covered nationwide under federal law, or whether it's a matter of state or local laws that vary between jurisdictions. I also don't know whether it's different in countries outside the USA. Therefore, I thought I'd throw the problem to my readers. If you can answer any of these questions in terms of your own location or country, and particularly if you can provide links to relevant laws, codes and regulations, please do so in Comments.
- Is it illegal to store any given prescription narcotic, or class/type of prescription narcotics, if one doesn't use all of a prescription?
- Is it illegal to accumulate more than a certain quantity of a prescription narcotic or type of prescription narcotics (e.g. painkillers)?
- Is it illegal to keep such narcotics for longer than a certain period (e.g. past the expiry date printed on the label)? (I know that at least some narcotics are perfectly usable past that date - the US military's Shelf Life Extension Program has confirmed that - but I'm not sure whether there are legal restrictions.)
Thanks in advance!