Many time people walk into a drug store to buy drugs for one illness or the other, they pay their hard money for the drug, but never get the benefit of such drug. An average Nigerian will conclude that such drug(s) are fake, passes such information to his/her friend, colleague or neighbor and misinform them that such drugstore sells fake drugs. But what could make a drug therapeutically ineffective? So many factors make a drug ineffective, but I would just look at one, which is storage.
The storage of a drug is one of the most important aspects of pharmacy practice, how and where a drug is stored goes a very long way in determining how effective such drug would be. For instance, all insulins should be stored in temperatures between 2-8°c, anything outside of this temperature reduces the effectiveness of insulin or might even outrightly destroy it therapeutically. So, how many drugstores in Lagos state for instance has functional refrigerator?.
Most drug manufacturers would advise their products to be stored in a cool dry place. A cool place is a place that has a temperature below 30°c, free from moisture and dampness.
Please, do not store drugs in the refrigerator, unless you were advised to do so by your Pharmacist. Drugs should be stored in dresser cupboards, kitchen cabinets, if the cabinet is not close to the fire place. It’s not advisable to store your drugs in bathroom cabinets as the fluctuating temperature of shower and water might affect the drug. If a drug is not properly stored either at home or in the drugstore, one could erroneously conclude that a drug is fake.
When you want to buy a drug, ensure you buy from a Pharmacy with a Pharmacist on duty. Don’t just walk into any store to buy drugs, because you think it’s cheap, remember cheap is cheap is in most cases ineffective.
Beware of drugstore that buy from open markets, most of the drugs in those markets has deteriorated before it left the markets.