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Why Dolo, Saridon, Calpol Will Have QR Codes

By Sohini Das
August 08, 2023 08:57 IST
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The top 300 pharmaceutical brands in the country will now bear a quick response (QR) code on their packaging to rein in spurious drugs and ensure better traceability.

Batches manufactured on and after August 1 will have QR codes printed on the packaging of the selected 300 brands, said Viranchi Shah, national president of the Indian Drug Manufacturers' Association.

Some of the popular brands impacted by this government move are Dolo-650 (Micro Labs), Allegra (Sanofi), Asthalin (Cipla), Augmentin (GSK), Saridon (Bayer Pharmaceuticals), Limcee (Abbott), Calpol (GSK), Corex (Pfizer), Thyronorm (Abbott), Unwanted-72 (Mankind Pharma), etc.

These high-selling brands have been shortlisted based on their moving annual turnover value or annual sales.

Sudarshan Jain, secretary general of the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance, which represents the large drug firms, said that the industry is ready for the switch.

A spokesperson for GSK said the company is prepared for the switch; the cost already factored into the overall plan.

India's largest drugmaker Sun Pharmaceutical Industries also said it was ready for the change.

However, industry sources revealed that there would be a cost escalation of 5-7 per cent due to the additional printing, and there might be a slight lag in batch production as well because of this additional step.

"The industry has already met the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) and voiced its concerns. We have requested considering the fact that there will be a cost escalation due to this step, and most of these drugs are already under price control," the source said.

Since these are the top-selling brands, he said most of them belong to large companies. Therefore, the industry at large has been ready for this switch, and there would be no delays.

Last March, the Union health ministry asked the Department of Pharmaceuticals to shortlist the 300 drug brands that can be included for the implementation of mandatory QR codes.

The NPPA had identified the list of 300 brands, which include widely used medicines like painkillers, contraceptives, vitamins, blood sugar, and hypertension medicines, etc.

In the draft notification issued on June 14, 2022, the ministry had said that the manufacturers of the said formulation products shall print or affix a barcode or QR code on its primary packaging label, on the secondary package label that stores data or information legible with a software application to facilitate authentication.

Thereafter, in November 2022, the Centre came out with a formal notification whereby manufacturers of these 300 brands will affix a QR code to the packaging.

The QR code will have information on the unique product identification code, proper and generic name of the drug, brand name, name and address of the manufacturer, batch number, date of manufacturing, date of expiry, and manufacturing license number.

Feature Presentation: Ashish Narsale/

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Sohini Das
Source: source
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