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Spotting Counterfeit Medicines

New device designed to tell whether prescriptions are fake.

The FDA estimates that 1 to 2 percent of  the medications in North America are counterfeit---they don't contain the ingredients they say they do on the box. Now, some Notre Dame students are using a little piece of paper and some chemicals to try to fight the problem.

Here's how their paper analytical devices or PADs work. The drug is spread onto the pad and the device is set in water. Within five minutes, the colors show what chemicals are and are not, in the tested drug.

The students are waiting to get their patents approved, and they estimate it'll be 3 years before they're able to put their device on the market.

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