Medicine Stability Database
This resource is for to my colleagues working in the developing world, or working in global health to improve the pharmaceutical supply chain.
I started creating this database shortly after I graduated. When I was a student, I got the chance to go to Honduras over two summers for scuba diving internships in Roatan.
The second summer I went (which was actually right after I graduated but before I was licensed) I reached out to a charity called Medicines for Roatan to see if there was anything I could do to help, and ended up spending a morning with the pharmacist at the island hospital.
During some initial email exchanges with the founder, medicine stability came up as a significant concern because there was no air-conditioning in the hospital. Even though the source of the medicine was reliable it made the pharmacist uneasy due to potentially rapid degradation.
Unfortunately, telling every pharmacy (or 'vendor' that sells drugs) in the developing world to get an air-conditioning unit is unrealistic.
So what can we do? There have actually been numerous studies looking at stability of medications exposed to temperatures outside manufacturer recommendations, but they are scattered across so many journals and websites the information is virtually inaccessible, especially to clinics with limited internet access.
Meet the Medicine Stability Database. This project, which I started shortly after coming home from Honduras, aims to compile all known stability information for medications stored outside manufacturer-recommended temperatures.
With this database, we can:
1. Create site-specific beyond-use dates for drugs known to be sensitive to temperature, humidity, or light, or we can find an alternate storage location for those medications.
2. Have evidence to support continued use of medications that are stable, in spite of being stored in hot and/or humid environments.
This database was developed with the help of Amy Knehans, MLIS, AHIP.
Disclaimer: I stopped working on this database with any frequency years ago, so with that being said, I cannot guarantee the accuracy of the data. It is almost guaranteed that there are mistakes in the database, and it is also not updated.
So why am I posting it? For clinics needing this information, it at least provides a starting point in their research. Also, I want to put it out there, in case any of my colleagues in the developing world are interested in piloting the effectiveness of the database and/or helping to update it for others to use.