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Exposing expired meds on the shelves

Investigative journalism doesn't necessarily take months, particularly if you have a good idea and a number of reporters who can share the workload.

Case in point: 21 students in a Princeton University summer journalism program visited more than 20 drugstores in four New York City boroughs this week and found dozens of expired over-the-counter medications on the shelves.

And these weren't just mom-and-pop operations. Among the establishments where the meds -- including infant vitamin supplements, anti-nausea medication tand pain relievers -- weren't being pulled in a timely fashion were stores operated by large chains, including CVS, Duane Reade, Rite Aid and Walgreens.

Selling expired medications would be a violation of New York state law, the students found.

A tip of the hat to the students and professor(s) for a sharply focused and well-executed investigative story that was waiting only an arm's length away.

-- Mike Brunker, msnbc.com projects editor