IR Spectroscopic Analytical Tools in the Fight Against Counterfeit Medicines




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CRC Press


Book chapter

Peer reviewed



Counterfeit medicines pose a huge and growing threat to public health globally and have consequences for healthcare systems and economies worldwide. These poor-quality medicines impact on public health not only in low-resource countries but also in the industrialised world. In order to tackle this under-addressed global health challenge, accurate, robust, affordable, easily operable, portable and non-destructive analytical tools for the rapid in-field detection of poor-quality medicines are critically needed. A vast array of analytical approaches can be employed to discriminate between genuine and counterfeit pharmaceutical products and amongst these vibrational infrared (IR) spectroscopy is an ideal candidate due to its ease of sampling and speed of analysis. In this chapter the authors explain the fundamentals of IR techniques and the chemometric approaches employed. They also provide a review of the IR spectroscopy-based studies for the authenticity/qualitative identification and quantitative analysis of medicines over the past two decades. Among these, portable near-infrared (NIR) and attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy devices in combination with multivariate chemometric tools show promising results. Moreover, some of the current challenges in using these IR spectroscopy techniques are discussed and future perspectives are anticipated.



counterfeit medicine, substandard medicine, falsified medicine, Infrared spectroscopy, analytical chemistry, global health, pharmacy


Tanna, S. and Armitage, R. (2023) IR Spectroscopic Analytical Tools in the Fight Against Counterfeit Medicines. In: Priefer, R. (Ed.) Quantitative and Qualitative Determination Technologies of Counterfeit Drugs. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, pp. 131-169


Research Institute

Leicester Institute for Pharmaceutical Innovation - From Molecules to Practice (LIPI)