New technology to detect counterfeit medicines
A new technology to detect counterfeit medicines, called PharmaCheck, was recently developed by researchers at Boston University in partnership with the Promoting the Quality of Medicines Program (supported by USAID and implemented by USP). This new system is a microfluidics-based device that can recognize the percentage of API content within the drug and other key characteristics that would determine the drug quality. More importantly, the new device is portable and cost effective that would allow it to be used effectively in developing countries.
The device is currently at the "proof of concept" stage - verifying the device function using an anti-malarial drug. However, PharmaCheck recently won a grant through Saving Lives at Birth’s “Grand Challenge through Development.” This initiative is funded by USAID, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenge Canada, and the U.K. Dept. for International Development. The grant should accelerate development of PharmaCheck so that it can be used in the field.