May 01, 2011

Barcoding of medicines to be made mandatory, says DCGI

The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has proposed to make it mandatory for medicines meant for domestic supply to bear barcodes. "We propose for the addition of serial numbers to the unit-pack level on all medicines destined for use in the domestic market," Surinder Singh of DCGI told reporters here. The unique identifier (UID) number will also be printed on the pack in a user-readable format so that it can be sent via text message to a centralised phone number for authentication, he said. Singh said the Commerce Ministry had unveiled an ambitious scheme to add serial numbers to all medicines to be exported this year - via the printing of GS1-compliant 2D barcodes on primary packaging and 1D or 2D codes on secondary packaging. President of Indian Drug Manufactures' Association N R Munjal said the total cost of the printing of 2D barcodes will add another burden on the industry and the cost of drug will escalate by about 40 per cent, which will further burden the consumer.

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