The US Food and Drug Administration has introduced a powerful new tool in the war against counterfeit drugs. It’s a hand-held counterfeit drug detection spectrometer that uses light to detect anomalies in drug appearance and packaging.

Called the Counterfeit Detection Device #3, or CD3, it was developed internally by the FDA, and presented at an FDA symposium by Commissioner Margaret Hamburg on September 11th, reports CNN.

CD3 in action

Picture courtesy of the FDA.

The US Food and Drug Administration has introduced a powerful new tool in the war against counterfeit drugs. It’s a hand-held counterfeit drug detection spectrometer that uses light to detect anomalies in drug appearance and packaging.

Called the Counterfeit Detection Device #3, or CD3, it was developed internally by the FDA, and presented at an FDA symposium by Commissioner Margaret Hamburg on September 11th, reports CNN.

It is a low cost solution to the challenge of analyzing the estimated 24 million FDA-regulated products that will arrive on US shores this year. Using a battery-operated LED, the device emits a spectrum of wavelengths of light that can be used to examine everything from capsule or pill, to the packaging that surrounds it for variations from genuine products or packaging that has been faked or tampered with.

About 50 of the CD3 devices are being used at present in the field. It has been in use since 2010, and the FDA is currently developing a newer version of the detection device.

Learn more about the FDA’s fight against counterfeit drugs at the Partnership for Safe Medicines’ Interchange.  Commissioner Hamburg will be our keynote speaker on September 28th in Washington DC.