New Delhi: The Central government’s order of a mandatory bar code or quick response (QR) code on 300 drug brands to facilitate easy identification of the name, brand and date of expiry comes into effect today (August 1). The Government of India through a gazette notification on November 17, 200 had listed names of 300 top brands of medicines in the country stating that these should be having a bar code or QR code with certain important details from August 1, 2023. The decision was taken for the convenience of buyers who can now easily confirm if a particular medicine that they have bought, from any of these 300 brands, is real or not. They can also check the manufacturing as well as the expiry date of the medicines.
The Drugs Control General of India (DCGI) has given strict orders to Pharma companies to adhere to the instructions. With the orders in place, popular drug brands like Allegra, Shelcal, Calpol, Dolo and Meftal among others will have to put a bar code or QR code on their medicines. The DGCI has clearly told the drug companies should be prepared for heavy fines if they fail to follow these orders.
“The manufacturers of drug formulation products as specified in Schedule H2 shall print or affix Bar Code or Quick Response Code on its primary packaging label or, in case of inadequate space in primary package label, on the secondary package label that store data or information legible with software application to facilitate authentication,” the notification read.
According to the notification, the code, when scanned should display the following information about the medicines:
1. Unique product identification code
2. Proper and generic Name of the drug
3. Brand name
4. Name and address of the manufacturer
5. Batch number
6. Date of manufacturing
7. Date of expiry
8. Manufacturing licence number.
The Central Government has taken this step to curb and stop the business of counterfeit medicines growing in the country. To implement this, the government has amended the Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940 and through this, it has made it mandatory for pharmaceutical companies to put bar code/QR code on their brands.
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