The PADs Project is a collaborative multidisciplinary research effort between Saint Mary’s College and Notre Dame University. It consists of mostly undergraduate researchers along with a few graduate students, professors and other professionals at the two schools. The goal of the project is to develop simple inexpensive chemistry-based tests that can be used by most anyone, anywhere to help determine if a pharmaceutical is real or fake.
The Problem: Counterfeited Pharmaceuticals
Our project began with the serious and growing problem of counterfeited pharmaceuticals. This issue is prominent in developing nations where lack of market regulation allows counterfeiters to slip their products in amoung authentic drugs. The World Health Organization reports that up to 50% of drugs available in such areas can be counterfeited.
This issue is also increasing in proliference in more developed nations such as the United States with the growing number and availability of online pharmacies.
Our Solution: PADs
The purpose of our project is to decrease counterfeiting and save lives by developing a series of PADs, or Paper Analytical Devices, that contain a library of colorimetric chemical tests that can help determine the content of a pharmaceutical sample.