Mandatory QR coding for APIs soon: DTAB
New Delhi: Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB), functional under the Central Drugs and Standard (CDSCO) has recommended “making it mandatory to have quick response code (QR) coding on labels of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API), the most important constituent of any drug formulation for tracing the origin and movement of APIs from manufacturers to formulators through a system of networking.’’
Incorporating a system of a QR coding for API will reportedly provide key benefits including better price control and more effective quality control. The move will help regulate the sale of fake medicines. Besides, it will also establish transparency and track drugs subject to Goods and Services Tax(GST) which otherwise is neglected.
A QR code is a unique two-dimensional matrix bar-code which is attached to products to obtain information about them and track their origin.
The proposal to this effect was deliberated in a recent meeting held by top drug advisory body, Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB). The board noted that in the supply chain for APIs, the “security and integrity in proper storage condition” played a very significant role to enhance quality supply. API is the most important constituent of any drug formulation.
The Board further added that in various fora, stakeholders had suggested incorporating a system of a QR code on packing of APIs for tracing the origin and movement of APIs from manufacturers to formulators through a system of networking.
"DTAB after detailed deliberation recommended to include necessary provisions under the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945 for making it mandatory to have QR coding on labels of APIs for tracing the origin and movement of APIs from manufacturers to formulators through a system of networking," reads the DTAB recommendation.
APIs are the active raw materials used in medicines to give them their therapeutic effect. Currently, India relies on other nations for 60%-80% of its API supplies.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers had released orders to make bar code mandatory of procurement of drugs under public procurement, effective from April 1 2019.