India uses bar codes to help pharmaceutical tracking

Delhi, India: India, keen to maintain its reputation as a supplier of high quality drugs, is making barcodes mandatory on drug packaging from next month.

Indian officials focused on developing a track/trace system after fake medicines labelled ‘Made in India’ appeared in Africa. The fakes that appeared in Nigeria were traced to China, reports The Hindu Business Line.

The new barcode requirement affects the outer-most packaging used in drug shipping. Bar coding on secondary packaging such as cartons, and primary medicine strips and bottles is already in place.

The Indian implementation falls short of a true track/trace system although the barcodes can aid tracking. Some critics maintain medicines with manufacturer-applied barcodes have little value if the importing countries are not part of the system with both sides having access to the data, says the article.

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