Bar-Coding of Drugs Becomes Mandatory to Trace Their Origins

Monday, April 13, 2015

Source: The Economic Times

The government has mandated bar-coding of mono cartons of drugs shipped out of the country from July as an additional measure to ensure that its reputation isn't tarnished by medicines manufactured illicitly in other countries and passed off as made in India.

Bar-coding of mono cartons, which hold primary packs of drugs, will enable them to be traced back to the source, the ministry of commerce said in an order. Drug makers will also have to maintain evidence in a central portal, maintained by the government here. The steps are expected to help the country counter the bad name that a few stray incidents have brought to products made here. The health ministry is considering a similar move for drugs sold within the country. "The measure is in line with highest global standards. Barcoding on the mono carton is a step further to trace the origin of a particular drug. This will help build clean reputation of Indian pharma in the international market," said a government official. "Incidents like the Chinese fake consignments found with 'made in India' label can corrode the line between fakes and generics." Bar-coding on tertiary level packaging such as cartons used for bulk handling, warehouse storage and transport shipping as well as other secondary packaging has been mandatory for exports since 2013.

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