WHO/UNICEF Study on Stability of Drugs during International Transport
(1991; 67 pages)


The objective of this study was to determine whether the present method of international shipment of essential drugs by sea has any adverse effect on their quality and potency. The study was designed as a controlled longitudinal study of three shipments of 11 essential drug products each, shipped by international sea transport from the Unicef warehouse in Copenhagen (Denmark) to Lagos (Nigeria), to Kampala (Uganda, by sea to Mombasa and then overland) and to Bangkok (Thailand), with three-hourly monitoring of temperature and humidity within the test kits. Potency and quality of the drugs were measured before and after shipment. Drugs were selected on the basis of a suspicion of instability, high turnover with UNICEF and medical relevance.

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