| April 24
April 24 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration
has developed a hand-held device capable of identifying
counterfeit or substandard malaria drugs and has signed a letter
of intent with Corning Inc to manufacture the product.
The device, known as CD-3, is a battery-operated tool that
uses different wavelengths of light to compare an authentic
malaria drug with a potentially fake product, the FDA said on
Malaria is a potentially deadly mosquito-borne disease that
often causes fever, chills and flu-like symptoms. In 2010, about
219 million cases of malaria occurred worldwide and 660,000
people died, most in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the World
"Fake or substandard anti-malarial drugs cause double
damage," FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said in a statement.
"Without adequate, prompt treatment, the malaria parasite can
kill a person in a matter of days, and inadequate treatment can
also lead to the development of drug resistance, potentially
rendering all treatment ineffective."
The device will be first tested in Ghana, and information
from that test will inform additional testing programs in Africa
and parts of Southeast Asia, where the rates of malaria
infection are high and where counterfeit anti-malarial medicines
A global study last year found that 36 percent of
anti-malarial drugs analyzed in Southeast Asia were fake, while
a third of samples in sub-Saharan Africa failed chemical testing
because they contained either too much or not enough active
The FDA plans to roll out the device as part of a
public-private partnership with a variety of organizations,
including the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention, and the President's Malaria
Initiative, led by the U.S. Agency for International
CD-3 was developed by scientists at the FDA's Forensic
Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.