Quality of Essential Medicines in Public Health Care Facilities of Nepal, 2019

Quality of Essential Medicines in Public Health Care Facilities of Nepal, 2019
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Quality of Essential Medicines in Public Health Care Facilities of Nepal, 2019

Quality of Essential Medicines in Public Health Care Facilities of Nepal, 2019

Nepal Health Research Council published research report on Quality of Essential Medicines in Public Health Care Facilities of Nepal, 2019

Essential medicines are widely being consumed in various illnesses in health facilities of Nepal. Poor quality of essential medicines can have serious impact on public health. The quality of essential medicines available in health facilities of Nepal have been questioned several times. Thus, this study is aimed to assess the quality of essential medicines available in public health care facilities of Nepal.

Result of the Study

The result of this study show that Out of 244 batches of 20 different generics of essential medicines, 37 batches failed to meet the required pharmacopeial standards which constitute 23 (62.16%) batches of medicines supplied by Government of Nepal and 14(37.83%) batches purchased from local resources. The generic name of failed medicines include Ciprofloxacin hydrochloride eye/ear drop, Iron supplement tablets, Metformin Hydrochloric tablet 50 mg, Metronidazole Tablets 400 mg, Paracetamol Oral suspension 60 ml, Paracetamol tablet 500 mg and Povidone Iodine solution. Among identified list of substandard medicines, the batches of Metronidazole tablets 400 mg and Povidone-Iodine solution were in highest number while paracetamol tablets constituted least number of batches. Among 62 health facilities, only 13% of health facilities were found to follow the medicine storage guidelines regarding sunlight protection, humidity protection, heat protection and maintenance of ventilation. Maximum temperature and humidity record was found to be 37°C and 86% respectively.

Conclusion of Study

High number of essential medicines (Thirty seven batches of seven different generics of essential medicines) available in health facilities was found substandard. The recommended medicine storage guidelines for protection of sunlight, humidity, heat and maintenance of ventilation along with recommended temperature and humidity were found to be followed by few health facilities and seemed to be highly ignored in Nepal. As majority of identified sub-standard medicines were purchased by Government of Nepal, there is dire need to take necessary steps towards ensuring quality of essential medicines that are supplied to health facilities of Nepal.


  • There should be provision to assess the quality of essential medicines supplied in health facilities.
  • Stringent rules and regulations should be made along with their effective implementation to prevent substandard/counterfeit medicines from entering into pharmaceutical supply chain.
  • All the infrastructures required for storage of medicines should be established and maintained in all Regional medical stores and health facilities.
  • DDA should strengthen its resources to ensure quality of medicines that are widely being used in pharmaceutical market of Nepal.

Name of collected drugs for test

  1. Tinidazole 500mg tablet
  2. Ciprofloxacin 250mg tablet
  3. Paracetamol syrup 60ml
  4. Azithromycin tablet 500mg
  5. Iron supplements tablet 30/60 mg tablet
  6. Povidone-iodine solution liquid 500 ml 5 % w/v
  7. Aluminium Hydroxide+magnesium hydroxide tablet 250 mg
  8. Hyoscine butylbromide tablet 10 mg
  9. Amlodipine tablet 5 mg
  10. Metformin tablet 500 mg
  11. Cetrizine Hcl tablet 10 mg
  12. Metronidazole tablet 400 mg
  13. Ciprofloxacin eye and ear drops, 5 ml 0.3 %w/v
  14. Sulfamethoxazole+ trimethoprim tablet 960 mg DT
  15. Fluconazole tablet/capsule 150 mg
  16. Amoxycillin capsule 500 mg
  17. Ranitidine tablet 150 mg
  18. Oral rehydration salt sachet/litre
  19. Salbutamol tablet 4 mg
  20. Paracetamol tablet 500 mg


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