Counterfeit and substandard test of the antimalarial tablet Riamet® by means of Raman hyperspectral multicomponent analysis

in: Molecules (2019)
Frosch, Timea; Wyrwich, Elisabeth; Yan, Di; Domes, Christian; Domes, Robert; Popp, Jürgen; Frosch, Torsten
The fight against counterfeit pharmaceuticals is a global issue of utmost importance, as failed medication results in millions of deaths every year. Particularly affected are antimalarial tablets. A very important issue is the identification of substandard tablets that do not contain the nominal amounts of the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API), and the differentiation between genuine products and products without any active ingredient or with a false active ingredient. This work presents a novel approach based on fiber-array based Raman hyperspectral imaging to qualify and quantify the antimalarial APIs lumefantrine and artemether directly and non-invasively in a tablet in a time-efficient way. The investigations were carried out with the antimalarial tablet Riamet® and self-made model tablets, which were used as examples of counterfeits and substandard. Partial least-squares regression modeling and density functional theory calculations were carried out for quantification of lumefantrine and artemether and for spectral band assignment. The most prominent differentiating vibrational signatures of the APIs were presented.

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