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

African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology Vol. 3(4), pp. 165-170, April, 2009

6 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2013

See all articles by Roger Bate

Roger Bate

American Enterprise Institute (AEI)

Richard Tren

Africa Fighting Malaria (US)

Kimberly Hess

Africa Fighting Malaria (US)

Lorraine Mooney

Africa Fighting Malaria (UK)

Karen Porter

Africa Fighting Malaria (UK)

Date Written: April 27, 2009

Abstract

Researchers procured a range of antimalarial, antibiotic and antimycobacterial drugs from cities in six countries: Ghana, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda. Semi-quantitative thin-layer chromatography (TLC) and disintegration tests, Raman spectrometry, and near-infrared (NIR) spectrometry were used to measure the concentration of active ingredients and excipients (spectrometry only) to determine whether the tested samples were of good quality. Overall, 15% of tested samples failed TLC, 13% of tested samples failed disintegration tests, 41% of tested samples failed NIR spectrometry, and 47% of tested samples failed Raman spectrometry. The drug testing technologies were qualitatively compared in terms of time, cost, and reliability for identifying substandard drugs in the field. NIR and Raman spectrometry compared favorably to TLC in most respects except cost. If the indirect costs of TLC — including requirements for a climate controlled location and trained laboratory staff — are considered, the cost advantage of TLC may disappear in developing countries.

Suggested Citation

Bate, Roger and Tren, Richard and Hess, Kimberly and Mooney, Lorraine and Porter, Karen, Pilot Study Comparing Technologies to Test for Substandard Drugs in Field Settings (April 27, 2009). African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology Vol. 3(4), pp. 165-170, April, 2009, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2341934

Roger Bate (Contact Author)

American Enterprise Institute (AEI) ( email )

1150 17th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Richard Tren

Africa Fighting Malaria (US) ( email )

Washington, DC
United States

Kimberly Hess

Africa Fighting Malaria (US) ( email )

Washington, DC
United States

Lorraine Mooney

Africa Fighting Malaria (UK) ( email )

Cambridge
United Kingdom

Karen Porter

Africa Fighting Malaria (UK) ( email )

Cambridge
United Kingdom

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