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11/18/2021

Q&A: Veriteque USA develops the world’s first line of field tests to detect cannabis and fentanyl

Drug Store News spoke with CEO Bobby Betros to get a better understanding of the product and its potential in the market.

Veriteque USA is the manufacturer of SwabTek test kits, a field test for narcotics and explosives used by law enforcement and government agencies. Now the company has launched Verifique, the world’s first line of presumptive field tests designed specifically for use at home, in schools and in the workplace. Drug Store News recently caught up with CEO Bobby Betros to get a better understanding of the product and its potential in the market.

Bobby Betros, CEO, Veriteque USA
Bobby Betros, CEO, Veriteque USA

Drug Store News: What is Verifique and how is this product unique? 
Bobby Betros: Verifique tests are single-use spot tests designed to detect drugs. They are currently available in two varieties — cannabis and fentanyl — with the goal to expand the brand’s portfolio over time. Spot tests, as opposed to traditional drug tests, are used for testing surfaces, rather than hair, urine or other samples taken from humans. This allows the tester to screen any surface or any sample suspected of being, or coming into contact with, drugs. For the first time, at-home users can detect narcotics in samples such as pills, powders, oils, edibles and plant material, as well as items suspected of being drug paraphernalia, such as pipes, vape pens, baggies and needles, with results in under 30 seconds.

DSN: Please explain how the process works. 
BB: Users start by identifying the sample or surface that they wish to screen, and selecting the appropriate test, either cannabis or fentanyl. Each individual test consists of two pieces — a test pen and a test card. The test pen has a moistened cotton tip used for sample collection. The test card contains the printed reagents used in conducting the test.

[Related content: Verifique debuts cannabis, fentanyl detection kits]

The test pen is dabbed across the item or surface that is being tested to collect a sample and is then transferred to the test card. The sample is then combined with the reagent printed on the test card to complete the test. In the case of a positive result for the target drug, a rapid color change will emerge on the test card in under 30 seconds. The cannabis test produces a bright red color, and the fentanyl test produces a bright pink color.

Upon completion of the analysis, users may choose to submit the results of their test, including a photograph, through Verifique’s browser-based application. This app allows users to save and access previous test results over time. Once the process is complete, the user may recap the test pen and store the pen and card for their records or dispose of them along with regular garbage.

"For the first time, at-home users can detect narcotics in samples such as pills, powders, oils, edibles and plant material, as well as items suspected of being drug paraphernalia, such as pipes, vape pens, baggies and needles, with results in under 30 seconds."

DSN: How do you envision it will be used and what are the implications for the market? 
BB: Verifique test kits are designed to help keep our communities safe and have many applications across the spectrum of drug prevention. They are an excellent tool for use in drug education, intervention and interdiction, and harm reduction. Verifique is committed to providing products that empower testers with reliable, fact-based information, helping them to take control of situations they encounter and make decisive and informed decisions.

[Read more: Adamis secures FDA nod for Zimhi]

Cannabis legalization trends and the prevalence of vaping devices have changed the landscape of adolescent drug abuse and have propelled youth cannabis consumption into a pressing public health issue. With cannabis products more easily accessible than ever, and with consumption methods like edibles and vaping that are difficult to monitor and detect, parents feel like they are fighting a losing battle. Verifique’s Cannabis Test aims to help turn that tide. 

For the first time, parents have a tool that can help identify the presence of drugs in the home, even in products such as vape pens and edibles where cannabis can be easily concealed. Since the test is used on surfaces, rather than biological samples, conclusive tests can be conducted discreetly and without being intrusive. Having accurate, rapid and reliable test results can help parents know what they’re dealing with and provide peace of mind. Knowing whether or not cannabis is present can help provide a powerful data point to help put parents in the driver’s seat in conversations regarding drug use in the home. 

Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is 50 times more potent than heroin, has emerged as a threat to public health, now accounting for 30% of all overdose deaths in the United States. Increasingly, fentanyl is making its way into drug supplies across the country and posing a significant risk to drug users and those around them.

[Read more: Fresenius Kabi debuts smaller-dose fentanyl citrate injection]

Verifique’s Fentanyl Test is designed to help detect the dangerous drug. It provides a tool to help parents, employers and educators identify fentanyl in suspect samples that are encountered — allowing the tester to avoid possible exposure and helping to inform decisions regarding disposal.

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