Web pharmacies: A field study of ciprofloxacin and atorvastatin

By Roger Bate

244 treatment packs of the broad spectrum antibiotic ciprofloxacin and 198 treatments of cholesterol controlling atorvastatin were sampled from a stratified sample of 61 web pharmacies. Each sample was analyzed for active pharmaceutical ingredient content (API) and 18 of 442 (4%) were found to be grossly (less than 80%) under content (11 cipro and 7 atorvastatin). Most of the 18 came from non-certified sites, but two came from certified sites. None of the failures appeared to be a falsified medicine (packaging appeared correct and contained over 50% API). All failures were made by Asian manufacturers (12 Indian and 6 Chinese). All the failures regardless of source are a risk to patient health. For Cipro they could also accelerate population level resistance to this crucial antibiotic.

Link to full Paper can be found here
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