New anti-infective tests added to Minilab repertoire

MinilabThe number of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) that can be analysed by the Global Pharma Health Fund's Minilab kit has increased to more than 60 following the latest release of test protocols.

The Minilab is a suitcase-sized kit for rapid drug quality verification that is used to detect falsified and poor quality medicines by measuring the amount of API they contain, and to date more than 600 units have been distributed to 86 countries around the world.

The units are supplied with all the lab equipment, reagents, reference standards and protocols needed to perform non-sophisticated, affordable tests at the point of screening with minimal training, with an emphasis on antibiotics, anti-tuberculosis drugs, antimalarials and HIV drugs, as well as certain medicines for non-transmissible diseases.

The new test protocols are focusing on expanding the range of anti-TB and antibacterial medicines covered, says the GPHF, which is funded by German drugmaker Merck KGaA. For example, they now include the anti-tuberculosis drug kanamycin as well as clavulanic acid, a compound used alongside the antibiotic amoxicillin to prevent resistance.

During 2012 more than 100 Minilabs were distributed, with 40 going to Vietnam and 10 to Angola, according to GPHF director Frank Gotthardt.

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