Govt likely to issue unique QR Coding for all medicine packs
A various set of instructions regarding the tracing and tracking of medicines issued by different authoritative departments have created perplexity among the pharma companies and lobby groups, thereby calling for a need to have one QR code system.
New Delhi: The Government has recently set up a committee to fine-tune the modalities and attribute a unique quick response (QR) code to medicine packs in a bid to ensure authenticity and enable tracking. The Government will soon issue a notification in this regard, reports The Economic Times.
Since 2011, the Government has been attempting to introduce QR codes.QR Codes help in tracking and tracing the origin of drugs and minimize the chances of spurious, sub-standard, or counterfeit drugs reaching patients. However, it has not been able to implement it yet.
Notably, 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 Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) manufactured or imported in the country would bear Quick Response code on its label at every level of packaging.
As per the notification, every active pharmaceutical ingredient (bulk drug) manufactured or imported in India would bear Quick Response code on its label at each level packaging that store data or information readable with a software application to facilitate tracking and tracing.
However, various such set of instructions regarding the tracing and tracking of medicines issued by different authoritative departments have created perplexity among the pharma companies and lobby groups, thereby calling for a need to have one QR code system. The groups and drugmakers have often highlighted the need for a single QR coding system.
Taking up the concern, representatives from the Niti Ayog, Commerce Ministry, Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP), Health Ministry and Prime Minister's office met last week to decide on the matter.
"A committee has been set up under the health secretary which will come out with the report in the next 21 days. There was too much confusion regarding this. Finally, the issue will be settled. In the recent meeting it was decided that one QR code should be there," one person aware of the matter told The Economic Times.