[Histonet] Using expired reagents in IHC
We always get new antibodies before the old expire. We only have a
few expired ones kicking around. The Big High Muckety-Mucks (somewhat
understandably) have determined that the cost of the fines and dealing with
battling the inspectors would be worse, in the short term, than the cost of
purchasing just enough of the antibodies and not dealing with the extra
tech time involved in testing the same antibody monthly.
I can see the logic of either side of the coin. It may be easy to
overlook a reagent quality gradually decreasing. Repeated testing of the
reagent costs time & money too. And the risk of the fines looming over your
head is enough to make one hesitate. On the other hand the money saved on
keeping antibodies around for decades is appealing. I guess you could say
we're erring on the side of caution ... bloody expensive caution.
On another note, has anyone noticed that the listed shelf life of
these reagents is shrinking lately. I just got one in today that has about
9 months until it expires. It is enough to make one wonder if the antibody
companies are pushing for these regulations. I mean, really, where do they
come up with these dates anyway?
Have a great day,
At 10:54 AM 11/2/2004, you wrote:
>Date: Mon, 01 Nov 2004 14:26:32 -0500
>From: "Richard Cartun"
>Subject: [Histonet] Using expired reagents in IHC
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII
>It has been brought to my attention that the CAP Laboratory checklist
>has been revised as of 9/30/04 and now includes a question, "Are all
>immunohistochemical reagents used within their indicated expiration
>dates?". I have always believed that it is acceptable to use expired
>regents (mainly primary antibodies) as long as their reactivity is
>acceptable and documented. Obviously, the expiration date that
>manufactures use is not an accurate reflection of the reagent's
>likelihood of poor performance. Does anyone have information on this
>change? Thank you.
>Richard W. Cartun, Ph.D.
>Director, Immunopathology & Histology
>Assistant Director, Anatomic Pathology
>80 Seymour Street
>Hartford, CT 06102
>(860) 545-0174 Fax
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