The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has advised pharmacists and patent medicine dealers to store medicines with due care, to sustain their shelf life and potency.
Mr Venatius Ihekire, NAFDAC Assistant Director, Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, gave the advice in Enugu on Tuesday.
Ihekire noted that the expiry period of pharmaceutical products had meaning only if the products were stored under proper conditions.
The assistant director said that otherwise, the products were likely to lose their potency before the actual date of expiry.
He said that storage of medicines and other medicine-related products was an important requirement of good pharmacy practice, to maintain their potency and ensure physical integrity of the medicines.
According to him, good pharmacy practice, in terms of handling and storage, will prevent deterioration/degradation of medicine and ascertain that the quality and safety is maintained throughout their shelf life.
He said: “Direct storage of medicine cartons on the floor should be avoided because besides being an unhealthy practice, the contents may be damaged by moisture.
“Closed shelves further prevent dust from going in, especially where most pharmacy or medicine stores are located along busy roads and streets.
“Some medicines have to be refrigerated or stored in a cool or cold place.
“Having a refrigerator or two is essential to store such medicines at temperatures mentioned on the label.’’
Ihekire noted that being diligent in storing medicines, under the required storage condition ensured that the end-user gets the most out of the medicines for the protection of their health and others.
“NAFDAC being customer-focused agency will ensure that this important function of appropriate handling and storage of medicines are kept by all involved in the finished pharmaceutical product distribution chain in the country.’’