Clifton Park, NY asked in Consumer Law for New York

Q: In New York State, is is legal to sell antique medicine bottles if they still have the contents in them?

I going through my parent's estate, I found 2 fairly large bottles of old-time quack medicines. One listed ingredients as strychnine. Both bottles had significant quantities still remaining in them. I know pharmacies won't take prescription containers if the medicine is still in them.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
  • Little Neck, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: It's hard to say what type of attorney is closest to your issues, because it could introduce a number of issues, in terms of controlled substances (medicines that might not have been controlled at the time of production), poisonous substances (strychnine is a poison - a toxicologist could advise best about that), properly disposing of hazardous substances in compliance with environmental or health laws if necessary, and other possible issues. There are probably antique experts and appraisers who deal with these types of products regularly. If you reached out them, it's possible they would be knowledgeable in the issues to be cognizant of and the best sources for legal guidance. Good luck

Tim Akpinar

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