Category Archives: Regulatory

Purity of cocaine in Chile

J Pharm Pharmacogn Res 8(2): 146-154, 2020.

Original Article

A decade of analysis of illicit street cocaine in Chile

[Una década de análisis de cocaína callejera incautada en Chile]

Boris E. Duffau1, Sonia A. Rojas1, Salvador A. Ayala2

1Sección Análisis de Ilícitos, Instituto de Salud Pública de Chile, Santiago, Chile.
2Departamento de asuntos científicos, Instituto de Salud Pública de Chile, Santiago, Chile.

Context: Cocaine is one of the most worldwide consumed drugs of abuse. Determinate purity and adulteration profile of cocaine is very useful from the point of view of toxicology, public health, trends of misuse and for police enforcement, in order to establish the routes of drugs dealers.

Aims: To evaluate the purity profile of cocaine hydrochloride in Chile over 10 years; classify main adulterants and diluents added to cocaine, for this purpose we used collected data from all tested samples since 2006 to 2016.

Methods: In this study were used several analytical methods based in different techniques. For quantitative analysis samples were tested by Gas Chromatography with Flame Ionization Detector and High-Performance Thin Layer Chromatography. In order to confirm doubtful or extensively adulterated samples a confirmatory analysis by GC/MS was carried out.

Results: Results of this study are very alarming due to cocaine purity decreased since 2009 this fact corresponds with that cocaine has been progressively adulterated and diluted with compounds such as levamisol, caffeine, local anaesthetics, and carbonates. These events make very important this type of studies of composition of the street drug.

Conclusions: Cocaine is extensively adulterated, with substances that enhance the harm to the health of users, as in other countries in the region. According to our knowledge this is the first report in Chile about purity profile of cocaine hydrochloride in such a long period and with this large number of samples studied.

Keywords: adulterants; cocaine; diluents; purity.


Contexto: La cocaína es una de las drogas de abuso más consumida mundialmente, la determinación de la pureza y adulteración es muy útil desde el punto de vista toxicológico, de salud pública, tendencias de abuso y para las policías, con el fin de establecer rutas de los traficantes. Por estas razones evaluamos la composición de la cocaína clorhidrato en Chile para establecer los principales adulterantes, diluyentes y compuestos tóxicos agregados intencionalmente por traficantes a la cocaína callejera.

Objetivos: Evaluar la pureza de la cocaína clorhidrato durante 10 años, categorizar los principales adulterantes y diluyentes agregados, para esto empleamos datos obtenidos de todas las muestras analizadas desde 2006 a 2016.

Métodos: Se emplearon diversos métodos analíticos; para ensayos cuantitativos se aplicaron cromatografía de gases con detector de ionización de llama y cromatografía planar de alta eficiencia. Para confirmar muestras dudosas o muy adulteradas se desarrollaron análisis confirmatorios por GC/MS.

Resultados: Los resultados son alarmantes debido a que la pureza de cocaína ha disminuido desde 2009, este hecho se corresponde con que ha sido progresivamente adulterada y diluida con componentes como levamisol, cafeína, anestésicos locales y carbonatos. Estos eventos hacen muy importante este tipo de estudios de composición de la droga callejera.

Conclusiones: La cocaína está ampliamente adulterada, con sustancias que aumentan el daño a la salud de los usuarios, según nuestro conocimiento es el primer reporte en Chile acerca de la adulteración en cocaína clorhidrato en un período de tiempo tan prolongado y con un número tan amplio de muestras.

Palabras Clave: adulterantes; cocaína; diluyentes; pureza.

Download the PDF file .

Citation Format: Duffau BE, Rojas SA, Ayala SA (2020) A decade of analysis of street cocaine seized in Chile. J Pharm Pharmacogn Res 8(2): 146–154.

© 2020 Journal of Pharmacy & Pharmacognosy Research (JPPRes)


J Pharm Pharmacogn Res 2(Suppl. 1): S60, 2014

Special supplement with the abstract book of LATINFARMA 2013



Rovira J.

University of Barcelona, Spain.

The pharmaceutical sector does seldom operate as a competitive and efficient market mechanism due to multiple well known factors: asymmetry of information, non-sensitiveness of the demand to prices, barriers of entry on the supply side, and so on. This situation is especially true in the case of products under patent protection and other forms of market exclusivity, which confer suppliers a temporary legal monopoly. Most countries therefore apply direct and indirect forms of price control aimed at containing prices and ultimately pharmaceutical expenditure. There are however many modalities of price control and of criteria for setting the appropriate regulated price. The present debate focuses on international/external reference pricing and value based pricing.  In order to assess the appropriateness of a pricing approach it is necessary to define its objectives and feasibility. As the pharmaceutical market is an increasingly globalised and interdependent one, the analysis of a pricing approach must have a global perspective that takes into account not only how it will affect the market where it is applied, but also the impact on other countries. From a global perspective a pricing approach for new medicines should on one hand provide the appropriate incentives for potential research to address the research priorities of societies and it should also reflect some form of agreement or consensus on how countries should contribute to the cost of innovation. An alternative option is to radically change the business model by delinking the incentives for innovation from the prices of medicines.