Best-selling medications to feature QR codes on packaging for enhanced safety

Best-selling medications to feature QR codes on packaging for enhanced safety

Now you can identify whether the medicines are fake or not

QR Code on Medicines

Recent news highlights have revealed that starting from August 1, 2023, the best-selling medications will include a QR code on their packaging. This new feature aims to ensure consumer safety and combat counterfeit drugs. By scanning the QR code, individuals will have access to essential information such as the medicine's manufacturing license and batch number, allowing them to authenticate the drug's legitimacy. These codes will be rolled out to pharmacies in the coming weeks, providing consumers with a reliable way to verify the authenticity of the medicines they are using.

As part of its efforts to combat the sale of counterfeit and sub-standard medicines and ensure better quality control, the government has introduced a 'track and trace' mechanism. The first phase of this initiative, commencing on August 1, will involve affixing QR codes on the packaging of 300 top-selling medicines. These medicines collectively account for approximately Rs. 50,000 crore of the pharmaceutical retail market. The selected medications include widely-sold antibiotics, cardiac pills, pain-relief tablets, antidiabetics, and anti-allergics. The introduction of QR codes on these medicines aims to provide consumers with a reliable way to verify the authenticity and legitimacy of the products they purchase, thus promoting safety and transparency in the pharmaceutical industry.

In the domestic retail market valued at over Rs 2 lakh crore, the top-selling medications include Anti-diabetics Mixtard and Glycomet-GP, antibiotics Augmentin and Monocef, and gastro medicine Pan. However, over the years, the pharmaceutical industry has faced challenges with counterfeit and sub-standard drugs infiltrating the market. Regulatory authorities have seized some of these counterfeit products. Notably, Abbott's thyroid medication Thyronorm was listed as "not of standard quality" and found to be counterfeit. Similarly, Glenmark's blood pressure pill Telma-H was also discovered to be fake. Moreover, instances of fake or sub-standard cough syrups, injections, and vaccines have been reported.  

New Norms From This Month

  • From August 1, 2023, the top 300 medicine brands, including pain relievers, supplements, and blood-sugar-lowering drugs, will have QR codes on their packaging for authenticity and traceability.
  • The medicines are expected to arrive in stores within a few weeks.
  • The aim is to prevent the counterfeiting of medicines.
  • The QR codes will include manufacturer's name and address, batch number, and expiry date.

Source: Times Of India

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