In order to ensure the quality of drugs and check the sale of fake drugs in the market, the DTAB (Drugs Technical Advisory Board) has recommended mandatory QR coding on labels of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API). The QR codes will help in tracing the origin and movement of APIs from manufacturers to formulators through a networking system.
DTAB in a recent meeting noted that the security and integrity of API in proper storage condition played a very important role in maintaining its quality in the supply chain. The board also added that the stakeholders had suggested for implementing QR coding on APIs for tracing the origin and movement of drug ingredients.
While speaking on the development, a senior Health Ministry official said that the DTAB after detailed deliberation has recommended to include mandatory provisions under the Drug and Cosmetics Rules 1945. Other officials from the Health Ministry confirmed the numerous benefits of QR coding on API which included better price control and quality control.
APIs are the active raw materials used in the medicines to give them their therapeutic effect. A large share of APIs are being procured from other countries but the Health Ministry envisions to become self-reliant. Earlier, FICCI has also said that the reliance on other countries for API exposes India to disruptions in supply chain and pricing volatility.
Recently, the Supreme Court had directed the Central Govt. to develop a system that would benefit consumers by controlling the prices of drugs. The Health Ministry says that it has been working on introducing the QR coding for medicine packaging which can then be linked to a software supervised by NPPA (National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority).
Source: The Hindu