The Global Pandemic of Falsified Medicines: Laboratory and Field Innovations and Policy Implications
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Good-quality antimalarials are crucial for the effective treatment and control of malaria. A total of 7,740 individual and packaged tablets, ampoules, and syrups were obtained from 60 randomly selected public ( = 35) and private outlets ( = 25) in Afghanistan. Of these, 134 samples were screened using the Global Pharma Health Fund (GPHF) MiniLab in Kabul with 33/126 (26%) samples failing the MiniLab disintegration test. The quality of a subsample ( = 37) of cholorquine, quinine, and sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine tablets was assessed by in vitro dissolution testing following U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) monographs at a bioanalytical laboratory in London, United Kingdom. Overall, 12/32 (32%) samples of sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine and quinine were found not to comply with the USP tolerance limits. Substandard antimalarials were available in Afghanistan demonstrating that continuous monitoring of drug quality is warranted. However, in Afghanistan as in many low-income countries, capacity to determine and monitor drug quality using methods such as dissolution testing needs to be established to empower national authorities to take appropriate action in setting up legislation and regulation.

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  • Received : 25 Jun 2014
  • Accepted : 05 Jan 2015

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