In a bid to ensure authenticity of medicines and other pharmaceutical products, the government authorities have set up a committee to fine-tune the details and attribute a unique quick response (QR) code to medicine packs. This unique QR code will not only ensure authenticity but also enable tracking of genuine medicine packs. The Government will soon issue a notification in this regard.
The government has been trying to implement the QR code system since 2011, but it hasn’t been implemented yet owing to roadblocks and protests from pharma companies. According to ET, the pharma companies and lobby groups had expressed concern over multiple sets of directions being issued by various government departments and had asked for single, unified QR code system.
In 2019, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation(CDSCO) had issued a draft notification mandating the use of the QR code for active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), wherein, every API manufactured or imported in the country would have a QR code on its label at every level of packaging. As per the notification, every bulk drug manufactured in or imported to India would bear QR codes on its label at each level packaging that store data, which is readable with a software application to facilitate tracking and tracing.
However, multiple sets if instructions by different departments in the past have led to confusion and lack of clarity for the pharma companies . Now the government has turned its attention towards this issuse and representatives from the Niti Ayog, Commerce Ministry, Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP), Health Ministry and Prime Minister’s office even met last week to decide on the matter.