Centre to implement new system for keeping counterfeit drugs away from market

Centre to implement new system for keeping counterfeit drugs away from market
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Kollam: The Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) is planning to create a new system to prevent counterfeit drugs from entering the market. It has appointed a special committee to select and implement a system based on track-and-trace technology to deal with the problem.

The committee, which also includes representatives from pharmaceutical companies besides officials from the drugs control department, will consider various possibilities, including QR code and barcode, to come up with the system.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has been trying to implement a barcode system for drug exports since 2011, but this has not been fully implemented.

Last year, the government had insisted that QR code must be included in the packets of all active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) manufactured or imported in the country. This ensures the quality of API, the main raw material used in the manufacture of drugs. But there are no effective mechanisms in place to detect if a manufactured drug is counterfeit or not.

The NITI Aayog wants all drugs manufactured and used in the country to be brought under the blockchain system.

Last July, a committee headed by the Union health secretary had begun working on a framework for putting QR code on drug packets. Its follow-up actions will be based on the report to be submitted by the new committee.

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