Studies show that exposure to heat and humidity can affect the potency and stability of many prescription and over-the-counter medicines. In fact, although most drugs are recommended to be stored at “room temperature”, the ideal temperature range for safe drug storage is actually from 15 to 30 degrees Celsius.
The Philippines’ tropical weather is less than ideal for proper medicine storage. Especially during the hot summer months, daytime weather often reaches over 30 C. This can result in a degradation of our medications, making them less efficacious with the possibility of producing some adverse effects, without our knowing it.
Because medicines are sensitive to temperature and humidity, all Generika Drugstore outlets are air-conditioned to preserve the efficacy and potency of its products, while at the same time serving its customers in a more comfortable setting. Similarly, the Generika central warehouse and storage facility is temperature-controlled to ensure that the stocks are stored safely and effectively in accordance with required standards. According to the US Pharmacopeia (USP), controlled room temperature is defined as “a temperature maintained thermostatically that encompasses the usual and customary working environment of 20 to 25 C that allows for brief deviations between 15 to 30 C that are experienced in pharmacies, hospitals and warehouses.”
A UK study pointed out that many drugs such as cephalexin, ampicillin and erythromycin, are temperature-sensitive and have reduced efficacy when exposed to high temperatures. Even aspirin has been shown to degrade when exposed to heat.
Here are some tips to ensure your medication retains its efficacy:
•Always check storage information for your medicines. It may be wise to refrigerate certain medications.
•Avoid stocking up on large amounts of medicine. Have a small supply for emergencies and buy fresh medicines as needed.
•Never leave your medicines inside the car for long periods; do not store medicines in the trunk of your car.
•When traveling, keep your medicines in your hand-carried bag instead of checking them in with your luggage. Be sure, though, to use their original containers with pharmacy labels to avoid problems with international checkpoints.
•Do not leave the cotton plug inside the medicine bottle. Doing so can draw moisture into the container.
•Check the expiration date each time you take a drug. Throw out and replace any medications that are out of date.
•Never use medication that has changed color, consistency or odor, regardless of expiration date. Throw away capsules or tablets that stick together, are harder or softer than normal, or are cracked or chipped.
•Do not store your medicines inside the bathroom. Bathroom cabinets tend to be warm and humid, an environment that speeds up the drug breakdown process. Bathrooms are among the worst places to store medicines.
Generika Drugstore prides itself in being driven by a strong sense of social purpose. As noted by Generika president Teodoro Ferrer, “At Generika, we put the quality of the medicines we sell above all other considerations. Generic drugs should never be equated to lower quality. By providing affordable, quality medicines, we have a unique opportunity to contribute to the health of the communities we serve.”
Generika Drugstore was the national winner in the drugstore chain category of the DSAP (Drugstore Association of the Philippines) Quality Award in 2008. In 2009, the BFAD (Bureau of Food & Drugs) Quality Seal Award was granted to five Generika Drugstore branches, while the Generika-Soledad branch was named overall winner for the drugstore chain category.