image of Amoxicillin Quality and Selling Practices in Urban Pharmacies and Drug Stores of Blantyre, Malawi
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


This study evaluated a newly developed paper analytical device (PAD) for screening amoxicillin samples in Blantyre urban townships. Covert shoppers attempted to buy amoxicillin from a geographically stratified selection of private pharmacies ( = 22 out of 26) and drug stores ( = 23 out of 103) in the township area. According to the PAD results, all 42 samples obtained by the shoppers contained amoxicillin and none contained suspicious filler materials. Next, the products were assayed using high-performance liquid chromatography. Consistent with the PAD results, all samples contained the correct amount of amoxicillin with no unexpected ingredients. However, one sample was purchased as amoxicillin and contained that ingredient, but was packaged in capsules that are normally used to package ampicillin. Almost every sample failed a simple packaging analysis. Nine in 10 samples were missing their original packaging and/or inserts (52.4% repackaged capsules and 35.7% repackaged blister packs). Only 33.3% of the packages had expiry dates, 16.7% had batch numbers, and 47.6% had the manufacturer’s name. Dispensing practices were likewise unsatisfactory. Ninety-five percentage of the sellers sold the amoxicillin without a prescription, even though this medicine is regulated as prescription-only in Malawi. Although the chemical analysis showed that amoxicillin quality was good, our market survey revealed poor adherence to prescription-only medicine dispensing of antibiotics, which threatens antimicrobial stewardship efforts. Furthermore, the wide prevalence of repackaging deprives medicines of important information needed during patient’s use, regulatory investigations, and pharmacovigilance reporting.


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  • Published online : 23 Apr 2018
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