Be-cause Health literature updates

Téléchargez l’article en PDF: 2018 PLOS Quality Of Medicines In Southern Togo

Be-cause Health literature updates

Reference: Scha¨fermann S, Wemakor E, Hauk C, Heide L (2018) Quality of medicines in southern Togo: Investigation of antibiotics and of medicines for non-communicable diseases from pharmacies and informal vendors. PLoS ONE 13(11):e0207911. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0207911

Dear Friend,

In this open-access paper, our friends from Tubingen University present the findings of a study where  samples of 12 essential medicines (solid dosages only), including antibiotics, antidiabetics, cardiac  and antiasthmatic medicines, were collected by a mystery shopper from six informal vendors and six licensed pharmacies in the southern part of Togo.

92 medicine samples were analyzed by visual examination, followed by chemical analysis for the identity, content and for the dissolution of the active pharmaceutical ingredients, according to the respective monographs of the US Pharmacopoeia. Overall, 7 samples (8%) did not comply with the pharmacopoeial specifications, and one sample (1%) showed extreme deviations. Despite the study limitations (such as the small sample size and the lack of randiomization), this prevalence is consistent with recent review published by the WHO which estimated the prevalence of substandard and falsified medicines in low and middle income countries to be 10.5.

None of the samples was obviously falsified. However, one sample of amoxicillin capsules contained only 47% of the declared content of the active pharmaceutical ingredient, indicating that it may represent amoxicillin capsules 250 mg, rather than 500mg as declared on the label. In addition, testing of selected samples of amoxicillin for related substances showed the presence of degradation products, thus suggesting that inappropriate transport and storage conditions may have been an important cause for substandard quality. This should be confirmed by further research, given the very small sample size for this part of the study.

Notably, the authors note that all antibiotics could be purchased without prescription from licensed pharmacies and informal vendors with equal ease. The high availability of antibiotics from informal vendors is worrisome due to the potential of antimicrobial resistance arising from the inappropriate use of antibiotics.

Have a nice reading …and hopefully a nice winter holiday!,

Raffaella

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