FIGURE 6-10 Genuine (left) and falsified (right) holograms on artesunate blister packs found in Southeast Asia.
SOURCE: Newton et al., 2008.
Technology is a constantly evolving field. New techniques developed specifically for detection and analysis are always emerging. As some of the standard assessment techniques become smaller, lighter, cheaper, and more durable, the boundary between field and laboratory testing is blurring. Navigating the technological landscape is a formidable challenge, especially in low- and middle-income countries. The committee believes that interdisciplinary collaboration yields the best and most efficient advances in detection technologies, especially technologies that can be useful in developing countries.
Regulators in these countries have relatively infrequent opportunities to interact with academic and industry experts (IOM, 2012). Working in relative isolation translates into few opportunities to advocate for research on their behalf. This chapter gives some overview of the detection technologies that exist now, but a different expert working group could better articulate what technologies will be useful in the future. It is also unclear under what conditions the cost-to-benefit analysis favors the use of different detection technologies.