Author(s): Prazuck T, Falconi I, Morineau G, BricardPacaud V, Lecomte A,
Abstract Share this page
Abstract BACKGROUND: The ready availability of poor-quality drugs in developing countries leads to treatment failure and, consequently, excess mortality and morbidity. Moreover, the widespread availability of substandard drugs plays a key role in increasing the resistance to antimicrobial drugs.GOAL As a prerequisite to the establishment of a sexually transmitted disease (STD) control program, this study aimed to evaluate the quality of antibiotics recommended for treatment of STDs that were locally available in the capital of a province of Northern Myanmar. STUDY DESIGN: In addition to the hospital pharmacy, we selected at random 5 of the 41 drug sellers and 5 of the 40 general practitioners who sell antibiotics in the city of Myitkyina. Twenty-one marketing products corresponding to nine different antibiotics used for STD treatment were purchased (benzathine benzylpenicillin, benzylpenicillin, ceftriaxone, chlortetracycline, ciprofloxacin, clotrimazole, co-trimoxazole, doxycycline, and erythromycin). Drugs were sent to France, where they were analyzed according to the WHO guidelines. Drugs were considered to be standard if their dosage remained in the 10\% range of the expected value. RESULTS: Among the 21 different specialty products, only three displayed the official "registered" label. Three drugs were expired and the expiration date was not available for six others. One product did not contain the active drug declared (chlortetracycline; Lombisin, Unicorn, China) and did not show any in vitro activity against bacteria. Seven of 21 products (33\%) did not contain the stated dosage (1, more than stated dosage; 6, less than stated dosage). The highest deficit observed was 48\% in two products (co-trimoxazole, Yong Fong, Myanmar; benzylpenicillin, China [city and manufacturer unknown]). The dosage was not available for five drugs. As a result, only 8 of 21 products (38\%) did not contain the stated dosage of active drug. CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that public health policies based on national treatment guidelines should rigorously include the monitoring of quality control of available antimicrobial products. In the absence of such measures, specific treatment strategies are likely to fail and to generate drug resistance.
This article was published in Sex Transm Dis
and referenced in