Tracking illicit supply chains with paper analytical devices

Author: Marya Lieberman

We realized that a lot of different formulations of the medicines we are seeing in Kenya and other countries are distinguishable on the PAD.  Sometimes they contain unusual excipients, sometimes the chemical form of the active ingredient is distinguishable, and sometimes the drug is falsified. We reached out to industrial engineers at Northwestern University (Prof Karen Smilowitz and her students) and developed an exploratory project to use the information from PADs to learn about supply chains.

Our goal is to develop citizen science methods to learn about supply chains for falsified and  illicit drugs.