Question: what medications should we store, right now, for a grid-down scenario?
Answer: at a minimum, you will need to store the medications you use right now; the list of other medications is too complex for a Quick Post and has been added to our to-do list.
How long can I store them?
See this article: http://www.drugs.com/article/drug-expiration-dates.html
Based on this study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16721796
(I have requested the PDF for the study, they tell me it should be here soon.)
When one Googles the Shelf Life Extension Program (hereafter SLEP) and tries to log into the actual database, you get this big warning about monitored, classified, DoD property, and how it is illegal for civilians to view the data. I decided not to give .gov any more reasons to investigate me.
You will need to look at your medications vs those mentioned in the first article and see if there is any overlap. Also, if you are on a mission-critical medication that also has a very narrow therapeutic index, common sense dictates you have new stuff.
Getting a 3 month supply is something most insurance companies encourage. It may also save you money. Walmart has a list of generics they will fill for $10 for 3 months; as does Walgreens, Target, CVS, and I presume others.
BlueMudPatriot astutely comments:
“BUT there is a VERY LEGIT reason they pulled most of the results in SLEP.
WAY too many folks will assume that their storage is close enough to the storage in SLEP to plan on those numbers. And they will be critically wrong.
SLEP is a HEAVILY CONTROLLED TEMP/Humidity storage program and your average prepper or survivalist figures his back room or basement is equivalent and it really isn’t.”
This is true; even I don’t have a tightly controlled temp/humidity storage facility (other than the gun safe, perhaps). In a true grid-down scenario, you may not have much choice.
They also note that once you have opened the medications, all bets are off–the extended storage times are for unopened meds only.