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Discovery
Fake Drugs Exposed by Rapid Chemical Assay

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Counterfeit (left) and genuine (right) samples of artesunate from Cameroon.

Counterfeit (left) and genuine (right) samples of artesunate from Cameroon.

Credit: Manuela Sunjio


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Photo of Facundo M. Fernandez,  professor of chemistry at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Facundo M. Fernandez, professor of chemistry at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and his team conducted forensic analyses of samples of genuine and counterfeit artesunate, the active ingredient in current anti-malaria drug therapies. Unfortunately, drug counterfeiters in Southeast Asia produce and sell drugs containing fake artesunate, which has led to avoidable deaths and reduced confidence on the part of patients, health care workers and others in this effective drug treatment. Drug counterfeiting is a multi-billion-dollar business.

Credit: Georgia Tech Photo: Gary Meek


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Photo of Georgia Tech graduate student Leonard Nyadong demonstrating an ionization technique.

Georgia Tech graduate student Leonard Nyadong demonstrates an ionization technique that speeds up the testing of samples.

Credit: Georgia Tech Photo: Gary Meek


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Photo of graduate student Christina Hampton showing samples of drugs.

Graduate student Christina Hampton shows samples of drugs tested in the Fernandez lab at Georgia Tech.

Credit: Georgia Tech Photo: Gary Meek


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