Counterfeit or falsified and substandard drugs are a global problem and are estimated to account for 10% of all pharmaceuticals on the market. In response to a request from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Discovery & Translational Sciences program, the UW START team conducted an analysis of existing technologies for detecting counterfeit drugs for HIV, TB and malaria, including the feasibility and scalability of these technologies for use in the field. Technologies for detecting counterfeit and substandard drugs were identified using two methods. First, traditional literature reviews were conducted utilizing databases such as PubMed, Web of Science, and Google Scholar. Second, key informant interviews were performed in which additional technologies were identified. Specific details of the technologies were gathered directly from the manufacturer or developer, when available.
The team created a spreadsheet of these technologies, and wrote a supplementary document which provided methods for identifying technologies, definitions of columns for the primary table, and broad comparisons of the technologies. A manuscript regarding their findings was published in PLoSOne in 2014.