Volume 103, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Access to good-quality medicines remains a contentious issue in developing countries. This development is worrisome, particularly in a setting with a high incidence of malaria. Monitoring of antimalarial drugs in the commercial domain becomes necessary; thus, we evaluated the quality of artemether injection marketed in Southwest Nigeria. A cross-sectional survey was conducted to obtain 22 different brands of artemether injections within Southwest Nigeria. The samples were examined for their sources, lot numbers, containers for injection, oil base used for preparation, and dates of expiration. Further analysis involved visual inspection, assessment of extractable volume, identity tests, and an assay of active pharmaceutical ingredient. The pharmaceutical quality of each sample was determined according to the criteria set in the International Pharmacopoeia 2019. None of the products had any particulate matter, but there were certain irregularities in their presentation. Eighteen of the 22 products (81.7%) were packaged in plain instead of amber-colored ampoules, and 77.3% (17/22) did not indicate the oil base used as the vehicle on the label as against the pharmacopoeial standard. Sixteen products (72.7%) passed the extractable volume test, although the remaining 22.3% did not conform to the extractable volume per unit dose. Artemether was present in all the samples, although only 40.9% (9/22) met the recommended percentage content of 90–110% of artemether. The study revealed the presence of a high percentage of substandard artemether injection products marketed in Nigeria. Further surveillance is warranted to confirm the quality of artemether injection circulated in other regions within Nigeria.


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  • Received : 13 Mar 2020
  • Accepted : 14 May 2020
  • Published online : 22 Jun 2020
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