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A transmission near infrared (NIR) spectroscopic method has been developed for the nondestructive determination of drug content in tablets with less than 1% weight of active ingredient per weight of formulation (m/m) drug content. Tablets were manufactured with drug concentrations of ~0.5%, 0.7%, and 1.0% (m/m) and ranging in drug content from 0.71 to 2.51 mg per tablet. Transmission NIR spectra were obtained for 110 tablets that constituted the training set for the calibration model developed with partial least squares regression. The reference method for the calibration model was a validated UV spectrophotometric method. Several data preprocessing methods were used to reduce the effect of scattering on the NIR spectra and base the calibration model on spectral changes related to the drug concentration changes. The final calibration model included the spectral range from 11 216 to 8662 cm−1 the standard normal variate (SNV), and first derivative spectral pretreatments. This model was used to predict an independent set of 48 tablets with a root mean standard error of prediction (RMSEP) of 0.14 mg, and a bias of only −0.05 mg per tablet. The study showed that transmission NIR spectroscopy is a viable alternative for nondestructive testing of low drug content tablets, available for the analysis of large numbers of tablets during process development and as a tool to detect drug agglomeration and evaluate process improvement efforts.