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QR codes to soon be printed on medicines to check for their authenticity


To prevent the use of counterfeit and substandard medicines, the government may soon launch a “track and trace” mechanism. Under this, the customers will be allowed to use QR codes to know if the pills they are popping are authentic or not.

The report added that under the first phase of the exercise, QR codes will be printed on the primary packaging labels. Primary packaging labels are the first-level packaging like the bottle, can, jar, tube or strip.

In the first phase, medicines costing over Rs 100 per strip may be included.

Of late, there have been several reports of counterfeit drugs in the market. A racket of Glenmark’s pill for blood pressure, Telma-H, was busted at Baddi.

In another instance, Abbot’s Thyronorm was listed by the Telangana government as being “not of standard quality.” According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), in low and middle-income countries about 10 per cent of medical products are substandard.

Business Standard (BS) had earlier reported that in March, the health ministry had asked the department of pharmaceuticals (DoP) to shortlist 300 drug brands that can be included for implementation of mandatory QR codes.

The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) had identified the list of 300 drugs, which include widely used medicines, such as painkillers, contraceptives, vitamins, blood-sugar, and hypertension medicines.

ALSO READ: Top 300 drug brands to have QR codes on label for ensuring authenticity

With the implementation, the costs are expected to go up by 3-4 per cent for the phone makers.

Along with the QR code, the government may also soon launch a portal where the customers can feed the unique ID of the medicines and check for their authenticity.

Gradually, it may be expanded to other pharma products and handheld devices.


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