Materials and Methods: In a prospective study with purposive sampling, amoxicillin/clavulanate tablet formulations for canine use were collected in four countries (wholesalers or veterinary practice) and shipped to a central bioanalytical laboratory. Twenty‐four samples were collected from the UK (nine), Malaysia (nine), Serbia (four) and Thailand (two), yielding 18 different formulations (10 veterinary). Packaging inspection, tablet disintegration and content assay were conducted (validated high‐performance liquid chromatography with ultra‐violet detection); content was acceptable when within the 90% to 120% pre‐specified range (US Pharmacopeia).
Results: Secondary packaging was present for 13 of 24 samples and primary packaging integrity was verified for all but one sample. Amoxicillin trihydrate/potassium clavulanate label ratio was 4:1, except for three formulations (2:1). Tablet dose strength ranged from 250 to 625 mg. All formulations contained both analytes. For amoxicillin, two of 24 samples were out of specification with 72.8% (Malaysia) and 82.3% (Thailand) of labelled content. For clavulanate, four of 24 samples were out of specification with 46.9% (Serbia), 79.0% (UK), 84.3% (Serbia) and 86.5% (Thailand) of labelled content. One formulation (Thailand) failed for both analytes.
Clinical Significance: Antimicrobial formulations of substandard quality have negative consequences for efficacy in patients and potentially promote antimicrobial resistance. There was evidence of substandard formulations in all countries, not only for amoxicillin but especially for clavulanate; this could compromise equitable access to acceptable quality essential veterinary medicines worldwide.