New LC–MS–MS Method to Detect Counterfeit Drugs

Jun 18, 2014

Researchers at the Université de Montréal in Canada have developed and validated a new liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS–MS) method to identify compounds present in suspected counterfeit or even adulterated erectile dysfunction drugs. According to the study published in the Journal of Chromatography A, the method has now been introduced to the Inspectorate Laboratory Programme at Health Canada (Canada).1

The researchers applied LC–MS–MS to the analysis of 35 samples including: three legal tablets of Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra; six counterfeit Viagra tablets; four counterfeit Cialis; three counterfeit Levitra; nine tablets from unknown sources; eight herbal samples; and two gel capsules. The method took 10 min to perform.

Overall, 71 active ingredients and 11 natural ingredients were identified. The four most commonly found compounds were sildenafil, tadalafil, vardenafil, and icariin. The paper reports that the method was up to five times faster than high-performance liquid chromatography with UV (HPLC–UV) and gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC–MS). – B.D.

Reference
1. P. Lebel, J. Gagnon, A. Furtos, and K. Waldron, Journal of Chromatography A 1343, 143–151 (2014).

This article is from The Column. The full issue can be found here