WHO Health Systems Library
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Drug Quality Screening in Developing Countries: Establishment of an Appropriate Laboratory in Swaziland
(1994; 6 pages)


A simple, low-cost, accurate thin-layer chromatography (TLC) method has been used to establish the first drug quality screening laboratory in Swaziland. For this purpose, office space at the central medical stores was first converted into a simple laboratory. Basic equipment, supplies, and materials were purchased, existing manpower was trained to perform accurately the TLC procedure, and a system was established for the qualitative/quantitative screening of selected drugs purchased by the Ministry of Health prior to their distribution to user facilities. The TLC method described can be used to set up similar low-cost, drug quality screening laboratories in other developing countries where analytical chemistry expertise is lacking, resources are scarce, and sophisticated analytical laboratories to assess drug quality are not available.

Last updated: May 4, 2012