1921
Volume 103, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645

Abstract

Abstract.

Reports that chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine may be effective against COVID-19 have received worldwide attention, increasing the risk of the introduction of falsified versions of these medicines. Five different types of falsified chloroquine tablets were discovered between March 31, 2020 and April 4, 2020, in Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo by locally conducted thin layer chromatographic analysis. Subsequent investigation by liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry in Germany proved the absence of detectable amounts of chloroquine and the presence of undeclared active pharmaceutical ingredients, that is, paracetamol and metronidazole, in four of the samples. The fifth sample contained chloroquine, but only 22% of the declared amount. Such products represent a serious risk to patients. Their occurrence exemplifies that once medicines or vaccines against COVID-19 may be developed, falsified products will enter the market immediately, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Timely preparations for the detection of such products are required, including the establishment of appropriate screening technologies in LMICs.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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  • Received : 26 Apr 2020
  • Accepted : 05 May 2020
  • Published online : 12 May 2020
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