alexa Board gives recalled antimalarial drug clean bill of health - Daily Nation

Board gives recalled antimalarial drug clean bill of health

Wednesday April 25 2018

Duo-Cotecxin

Dr Jacinta Wasike from the Pharmacy and Poisons Board (centre) with other officials in Kisumu on March 22, 2018. The Pharmacy and Poisons Board has lifted the quarantine imposed on a commonly used antimalarial drug — Duo-Cotecxin. PHOTO | ANGELA OKETCH | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

ELIZABETH MERAB
By ELIZABETH MERAB
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The Pharmacy and Poisons Board has lifted the quarantine imposed on a commonly used antimalarial drug — Duo-Cotecxin.

The board had recalled the drug from the market over safety concerns, and launched investigations into a batch that was suspected to be substandard.

While giving a clean bill of health to the drug on Wednesday, the board said the decision was made after investigations into the quality of the drug found it to be safe for use.

In a statement, the Registrar of the Board, Dr Fred Siyoi, allayed any public fears that the drug might be fake.

INVESTIGATIONS

“The board has finalised investigations into the quality complaints raised on Duo-Cotecxin batch number 160621. The product has been found to comply with all the analytical tests carried out and it is safe for use,” said Dr Siyoi.

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Questions about its quality were first raised last December after investigations by the Nation revealed that the drug had failed an assay test, making it substandard and fake.

An assay test is an analytical procedure done in laboratory medicine to measure the presence, amount, or functional activity of a drug.

After the analysis, the board recalled the drug from the market and froze its importation.

EXPIRY

The drugs bought from a pharmacy in Nairobi, were manufactured by Chinese firm Zhejiang Holley Nanhu Pharmaceutical and are due for expiry next month.

It is widely in circulation across the country.

To do so, about 30 tablets are randomly selected and dropped into different jars before stirring. Ten of these are then analysed individually.

A tablet passes the test if 9 of the 10 tablets contain not less than 85 per cent and not more than 115 per cent of the labelled drug content.

During the analysis done by the Drug Analysis and Research Unit (Daru), University of Nairobi’s Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, sample results revealed that 40 out of 320 tablets met the specifications for identification of dihydroartemisinin and piperaquine phosphate.