Pilot Study Comparing Technologies to Test for Substandard Drugs in Field Settings

The World Health Organization estimates that up to 200,000 of the one million deaths that occur from malaria each year could be avoided if antimalarial drugs were "effective, of good quality and used correctly" (World Health Organization, 2003). In May 2008, some of the authors published a study that found 35% of antimalarial drugs sold in private shops and pharmacies in six major African cities failed basic quality control tests (Bate et al., 2008). Additionally, tuberculosis and other bacterial infections cause millions of deaths a year; drugs to combat these diseases are also routinely counterfeited (World Health Organization, 2008).

Portable labs that perform thin-layer chromatography (TLC) provide a relatively inexpensive, versatile, and robust means of identifying substandard drugs at a fraction of the resources required for modern laboratory testing. Over 300 Global Pharma Health Fund e.V. Mini-labs (GPHF-Minilab®) are being used in 70 countries to help public authorities and private companies identify counterfeit and substandard drugs (Global Pharma Health Fund). TLC however, requires trained staff and may be time consuming.

New technologies are making it easier to test the authenticity of drugs in field settings. This paper compares two instruments that use the technologies of Raman spectrometry and near-infrared (NIR) spectrometry against TLC and disintegration testing to identify substandard drugs in the field.

Click here to view this document as an Adobe Acrobat PDF.

Roger Bate is the Legatum Fellow in Global Prosperity at AEI.

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author

 

Roger
Bate

What's new on AEI

AEI Election Watch 2014: What will happen and why it matters
image A nation divided by marriage
image Teaching reform
image Socialist party pushing $20 minimum wage defends $13-an-hour job listing
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 20
    MON
  • 21
    TUE
  • 22
    WED
  • 23
    THU
  • 24
    FRI
Monday, October 20, 2014 | 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Warfare beneath the waves: The undersea domain in Asia

We welcome you to join us for a panel discussion of the undersea military competition occurring in Asia and what it means for the United States and its allies.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 | 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
AEI Election Watch 2014: What will happen and why it matters

AEI’s Election Watch is back! Please join us for two sessions of the longest-running election program in Washington, DC. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 | 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
What now for the Common Core?

We welcome you to join us at AEI for a discussion of what’s next for the Common Core.

Thursday, October 23, 2014 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Brazil’s presidential election: Real challenges, real choices

Please join AEI for a discussion examining each candidate’s platform and prospects for victory and the impact that a possible shift toward free-market policies in Brazil might have on South America as a whole.

No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled today.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.