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Custers D.,University of Antwerp | Van Hoeck E.,Medicines and Consumer Safety | Courselle P.,Medicines and Consumer Safety Section Medicinal Products | Apers S.,University of Antwerp | Deconinck E.,Medicines and Consumer Safety Section Medicinal Products
Drug Testing and Analysis | Year: 2016

Herbal medicines and food supplements intended as slimming aids are increasingly gaining popularity worldwide, especially for treating obesity. In this study, an ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled to photodiode array detection (UPLC-PDA) and an ultra-performance liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS) method were developed to analyze 92 slimming aids (confiscated by customs), aimed at acquiring highly informative fingerprints. Three types of fingerprints were acquired (PDA, Total Ion Chromatograms (TIC), and MS fingerprints) which were used in the chemometric data analysis. Both unsupervised (i.e., Hierarchical Cluster Analysis (HCA)) and supervised techniques (i.e., Classification and Regression Tree (CART) and Partial Least Squares - Discriminant Analysis (PLS-DA)) were applied. The aim was to perform an in-depth study of the samples, thereby exploring potential patterns present in the data. HCA was able to generate a clustering which was mainly defined by chemical compounds detected in the samples, i.e., sibutramine, phenolphthalein and amfepramone. PLS-DA generated the best diagnostic models for both PDA and TIC fingerprints, characterized by correct classification rates of external validation of 85% and 80%, respectively. For the MS fingerprints, the best model was obtained by CART (65% correct classification rate of external validation). Despite a lower correct classification rate, exploration of the concerned misclassifications revealed that the MS fingerprints proved to be superior since even very low concentrations of sibutramine could be detected. This study shows that reliable chemometric models can be obtained, based on the presence of prohibited chemical substances, which allow high-throughput data analysis of such samples. Moreover, they generate a prime notion of potential threat to a patient's health posed by these kinds of slimming aids. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Custers D.,University of Antwerp | Vandemoortele S.,Medicines and Consumer Safety | Bothy J.-L.,Medicines and Consumer Safety | De Beer J.O.,Medicines and Consumer Safety | And 3 more authors.
Drug Testing and Analysis | Year: 2015

Counterfeit medicines are a global threat to public health. High amounts enter the European market, enforcing the need for simple techniques to help customs detect these pharmaceuticals. This study focused on physical profiling and IR spectroscopy to obtain a prime discrimination between genuine and illegal Viagra® and Cialis® medicines. Five post-tableting characteristics were explored: colour, mass, long length, short length, and thickness. Hypothesis testing showed that most illegal samples (between 60 and 100%) significantly differ from the genuine medicines, in particular for mass and long length. Classification and Regression Trees (CART) analysis resulted in a good discrimination between genuine and illegal medicines (98.93% correct classification rate for Viagra®, 99.42% for Cialis®). Moreover, CART confirmed the observation that mass and long length are the key physical characteristics which determine the observed discrimination. IR analysis was performed on tablets without blister and on tablets in intact blister. These data were analyzed using Soft Independent Modelling of Class Analogy (SIMCA) and Partial Least Squares - Discriminant Analysis (PLS-DA). Supervised techniques needed to be applied since Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was not able to generate the desired discrimination. Our study shows that a perfect discrimination between genuine and illegal medicines can be made by both SIMCA and PLS-DA without removing the tablets from the blister. This approach has the advantage of keeping the blister intact. Our study demonstrates that these user friendly techniques are reliable methods to aid customs to obtain a prime distinction between genuine and illegal samples on the spot. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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