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More questions than answers

From Mr C. I. Toothill, MRPharmS

The article by Claire Church and Jane Smith (PJ, 21 January, p75 PDF (60K)) provided a fascinating and informative review of the stability of medicines and their suitability for inclusion in compliance aids. However, I think this article will make a grey area even less clear for pharmacists.

There can be no doubt that compliance aids are popular with the patients who use them. However, some of the most commonly used medicines (eg, senna) are classed with the stability code of 1 (the most unstable code) and are therefore unsuitable for inclusion in a compliance aid. Indeed any medicine in a stability code of 1 to 3 leaves the pharmacist on unsafe ground if they place it into such a device.

Is the preferred option to dispense these drugs into other approved containers and risk complicating the medicine regimen of a patient who already has compliance problems? Or is it best to carry on and leave oneself supplying medicines outside the terms of their product licence? As the well-known song goes: “There are more questions than answers.”

Chris Toothill
Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 10020784

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