Over the past four years, technology originally developed for homeland-security applications, then for explosives detection, has been adopted as a quick but accurate method for verifying the chemical supplies being shipping for pharmaceutical production. Along the way, says developer Ahura Scientific (Wilmington, MA), pharma security personnel have used the technology to verify the authenticity of products in the field—a common requirement when investigating counterfeit or diverted product.
Ahura says that as of September, its TruScan handheld instrument is in use in 100 pharma facilities, including nine of the top 10 manufacturers. “Just as companies transformed the telecommunications industry from landline to wireless and beyond, we are transforming the $40-billion analytical and life sciences instrument market to provide life-saving information in a mobile format,” said Doug Kahn, chairman and CEO.
The instrument, based on Raman spectroscopy, provides an on-the-spot analysis of raw or finished goods. It can read through packaging, including pharma blister packs, says the firm. While such devices won’t themselves secure the pharma supply chain, they can be a tool for the ongoing efforts in the industry.