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Detection of Counterfeit Tablets using a Handheld Raman Spectrometer

A Raman spectrometer easily verifies whether a pill is a counterfeit by its unique chemical fingerprint

Introduction

Falsified or substandard medical products may harm patients since they contain e.g. no active ingredient, the wrong active ingredient or the wrong amount of active ingredient. This may lead to severe health issues ranging from ineffective disease treatment via intoxication to death. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) this issue affects all countries of the world. In low or middle income countries already one in ten purchased medical products is substandard or falsified.

With the growing connectivity via the internet the illegal manufacturers and vendors of these counterfeit products can access a global market. Furthermore, finding and apprehending them is getting more and more challenging since the techniques employed for counterfeiting are reaching higher levels of sophistication. 

Authorities such as customs or border control require fast and safe methods for a quick authentication in the field. Small handheld devices using non-contact and non-destructive measurement techniques such as the Cora 100 analyzer are ideally suited for this application.

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