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Brazilian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences

On-line version ISSN 2175-9790


ORTIZ, Rafael Scorsatto; MARIOTTI, Kristiane de Cássia; LIMBERGER, Renata Pereira  and  MAYORGA, Paulo. Physical profile of counterfeit tablets Viagra® and Cialis®. Braz. J. Pharm. Sci. [online]. 2012, vol.48, n.3, pp.487-495. ISSN 2175-9790.

The profile of tablets containing an active pharmacological ingredient can be obtained using different sets of properties, including physical and chemical aspects. The first measurements carried out on tablets are the physical characteristics also called post-tabletting batch (post-TB) characteristics. These data may be valuable to assist in the detection of pharmaceutical product forgery and may also be used in a forensic intelligence perspective when inserted into databases. This work is focused on the physical characteristics of Cialis® and Viagra® tablets seized by the Brazilian Federal Police in the Rio Grande do Sul state. Using the F-test (ANOVA), all samples of counterfeit Viagra® (n = 28) and Cialis® (n = 40) were well distinguished from authentic samples by the following post-TB characteristics: length (major and minor), thickness, and mass. Using the exploratory statistical technique of Hierarchical Cluster Analysis (HCA), tablets with similar physical profiles were grouped. This result may indicate a common illicit production. We observed the validity of using post-TB properties to generate - in a fast and reliable manner and with no sample preparation - a technological profile that joins itself to the other analytical methods assisting in routine forensic detection of counterfeit Viagra® and Cialis®.

Keywords : Counterfeit drugs; Tablets [physical characteristics]; Viagra®; Cialis®.

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