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Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

Guideline #15

Use of Expired Medical Materials for Research Animals

The KSU Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) Guideline for use of Expired Medical Materials closely mirrors the current USDA Policy on use of expired medical items. The IACUC provisions are as follows:

  • The use of expired medical materials such as drugs, fluids, or sutures is not considered to be acceptable veterinary practice and does not constitute adequate veterinary care as required by the regulations promulgated under the Animal Welfare Act.
  • It is the responsibility of the principal investigator or other responsible individual to either dispose of all such materials or segregate them in an appropriately labeled, physically separate location from non-expired medical materials.
  • For acute terminal procedures, expired medical materials may be used - if their use does not adversely affect the animal's well being, or compromise the validity of the scientific study. Proper anesthesia, analgesia, and euthanasia are required for all such procedures.
  • Drugs administered to relieve pain or distress and emergency drugs must not be used beyond their expiration date.
  • Facilities allowing the use of expired medical materials in acute terminal procedures should have a written policy covering the use of such materials and/or require investigators to describe in their animal activity proposals the intended use of expired materials.
  • The IACUC and the attending veterinarian are responsible for ensuring that proposed animal activities avoid or minimize discomfort, distress, and pain to the animal. These responsibilities cannot be adequately met unless the veterinarian and the IACUC monitor the use of expired medical materials.
  • During the IACUC semiannual inspection of animal care and use facilities, expired medical materials found will be brought to the attention of the responsible official.
  • The IACUC may consider on-the-spot removal or disposal of expired medical materials found during its semiannual inspection of facilities - if it is determined that their use is in violation of the spirit of the USDA policy and/or this IACUC guideline.