• Testing Medicines

    Testing Medicines

    We are developing low-cost tests that can be used outside of the lab to detect low-quality medications.

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  • Undergraduate Research

    Undergraduate Research

    Undergraduates make important contributions to solving real-world problems.

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  • Working Globally

    Working Globally

    International partnerships enable us to create practical solutions for the developing world.

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Low quality pharmaceuticals are a global problem

Many of the pharmaceuticals that are purchased in the developing world are substandard or outright fake drugs. Although there is no global system for monitoring the quality of medicine, study after study reveals pervasive poor quality and products that are worthless or even harmful to patients.  Many countries in the developing world do not have the technological infrastructure or regulatory resources to keep low quality medicines off the market shelves. And since the pharmaceutical trade is a lucrative global market, low quality medicine can cross borders and harm people anywhere in the world. 

We are making tools to solve this problem.

Paper analytical devices (PADs) are test cards that can quickly determine whether a drug tablet contains the correct medicines. They are cheap and easy to use. They don't require power, chemicals, solvents, or any expensive instruments, so they can be deployed rapidly at large scale whereever a problem with pharmaceutical quality is suspected.

We are leveling the playing field.

These little test cards could change the balance of power between sellers and buyers. Right now, most buyers have to trust what the seller tells them about the quality of the pharmaceuticals they purchase. Unscrupulous manufacturers and distributors know that there is little chance that their medicines will be screened in a lab. These paper test cards don't need a lab, and they will enable people all over the world to quickly detect low quality medicines and remove them from the market.



Emily Mediate named 2016 Rhodes Scholar

Author: Marya Lieberman

Emily Mediate worked on the PAD project in 2012, organizing and testing some of the Kenyan antibiotic samples and helping Nick get the saltPAD off the ground.  She later did research in Uganda focusing on the effectiveness of AIDs interventions.  

The Rhodes Scholarship supports students in a variety of fields to study at Oxford University;  it is quite competitive, and Emmie is Notre Dame's 17th scholar.  She intends to pursue a master’s in evidence-based social intervention and policy evaluation (EBSIPE) at Oxford…

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PAD workshop at Future Trends in Latin American Healthcare conference

Author: Marya Lieberman

A hundred policy makers, regulatory officials, and health care providers from Central and South America experiment with a new technology for detecting falsified medications.  Paper analytical devices (PADs) are employed to determine which sample of a tuberculosis medication has been adulterated with maize meal, and which contains a substitute drug.  The 90 minute workshop was given during the 5th Future Trends in Latin American Healthcare meeting in Merida, Mexico, October 21-23, 2015.  …

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