The World Health Organization estimates that 10 percent of prescription drugs worldwide are either counterfeit, adulterated or contaminated. To deal with the epidemic, a large group of nations is reaching out to find solutions, including one being developed here.
Additionally, nations under threat of terrorist attacks are looking for ways to identify explosive materials like those carried by in his underwear by the alleged Christmas bomber who attempted to blow up Northwest flight 253 as it approached a Detroit landing.
At a recent meeting of 16 Middle Eastern and North African country health officers in Dubai, the coalition heard from XStream Systems experts that a new technique has been developed to analyze the ingredients of sealed pharmaceutical packages to identify dangerous items without invading the packages.
The WHO estimates that over 10 percent of drugs in developing countries are contaminated, adulterated or counterfeit. In the United States, the estimated bogus product is estimated at 1 percent.
Brian Mayo, the President and Chief Technology Officer of XStream Systems, told the health officers that its scientists developed the patented method of detecting and verifying materials “to rapidly and easily identify hidden materials, regardless of its packaging.”
Citing studies by the Center for Medicines in the Public Interest, Alan Clock of XStream Systems said that counterfeit medications “will be a $75 billion industry worldwide” in 2010. The growth of counterfeit medicines is growing 12-16 percent per year, he added.
More than 2,000 children per day die as a result of taking counterfeits in Africa alone, the WHO said.
Receiving this report were health representatives from Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, UAE, Yemen as well as other Ministries of Health, Police and Customs.
Organized by H. E. Dr. Hanif Hassan Ali, UAE Minister of Health, and Pfizer ,the conference was told about XStream Systems current molecular screening unit called the XT250™ Material Identification System.
Dr. Mohammed Abuelkhair, Head of Pharma/Medicine and Medical Products Regulation Section—Health Authority Abu Dhabi, announced that Abu Dhabi would install an XT250 in early 2010. Dr. Abuelkhair recently was given an Award for Excellence in pharmacy services.
The XT250 uses refracted X-ray technology (analogous to using prisms to scatter light rays) to read substances, looking through almost all coverings including paper, plastic, wood and metals.
That information is then fed into an on-site XT250 which races through a library of substances to analyze the ingredients and feed the information back to the user. The process is easily used by lay people with a minimum of training to detect any unwanted substances.
For example, the signature of diffracted aspirin is very different from ibuprofen, acetaminophen, codeine and other pain medicines. The XT250 technology identifies differences and reports them quickly back to the quality control officer or other designated person.
In the case of the Christmas bomber allegedly carrying the explosive PETN sewn into his underwear, airport screeners would be unlikely to discover the plastic bomb from a pat-down body search or even currently used scanners.
XStream Systems Inc. has a technique through its patented x-ray systems to identify dangerous hidden items such as passenger-carried substances without invading their carry-on packages.
“Nothing is fool proof,” said Patricia Earl, the XStream Vice President. “But it is apparent that most of the x-ray technologies in place are based solely on image density screening and cannot adequately differentiate between common everyday items and significant threats.”
As she pointed out in a message to the U. S. House of Representatives, most of the screening devices currently in use around the world would have seen PETN like any other powdered substances, Earl said. “The airports now use current magnetometer scanners; none use the patented x-ray method used in the XStream machine,” she added.
“PETN, the crystalline based material that was used by the suspected terrorist, is a perfect example of a material that the XStream System technology would detect,” Earl added.”
XStream Systems Inc. is a molecular screening technology firm headquartered in Sebastian, Florida. The chairman of the company is James J. Lowrey, a former Salomon Brothers partner, a former financial advisor to various governmental entities and an independent power industry founder through Catalyst Energy. Patricia Earl, Vice President of Business Development, may be contacted at p.earl[.]xstreamsystems.net.
About XStream Systems
XStream Systems, Inc. (the “Company”) designs and develops material authentication and detection solutions that allow molecular structure analysis on hidden materials. The Company’s patented technology combines penetrating x-rays, forensic analysis, and automated software algorithms that allow non-technical personnel to rapidly validate products even when sealed within their original packaging. The Company’s BeyondPedigree™ Solutions allow verification of authenticity and quality throughout the pharmaceutical distribution chain. XStream’s SPN (Secure Pharma Network) integrates testing data into a real time supply chain safety management solution.