Counterfeit and substandard medications are a serious problem in the developing world, potentially harming patients who desperately need medical treatment.
Some of these drugs, including the antibiotics ciprofloxacin and ceftriaxone, have been deemed essential by the World Health Organization for the treatment of infections. However, chemists in developing countries often do not have expensive instruments to determine whether a pill is genuine.
Now, a simple paper-based test may be the answer.
Instead of a $30,000 machine, a $1 paper card can test a drug in three minutes to determine whether the medication is inactive or of substandard quality. The tests come in 20-card packets.
Paper-based Test Identifies Bogus and Poor Quality Drugs
Photo: Courtesy of Lieberman and Bliese