The Centre has decided to introduce QR codes for ensuring authenticity and traceability for 300 common drug brands, including analgesics, vitamins, diabetes, and hypertension medicines etc. The draft notification issued in June this year, has been finalised this month. The move will impact popular brands like Dolo, Allegra, Saridon, Corex etc.
The government has now inserted Schedule H2, a new schedule, after Schedule H1, which contains 300 brands of formulations. Manufacturers of these brands shall have to print QR Codes / Bar Codes on the primary packaging of the formulation, with effect from August 1, 2023.
The manufacturers of drug formulation products as specified in Schedule H2 shall print or affix a Bar Code or Quick Response Code on their primary packaging label or, in case of inadequate space in the primary package label, on the secondary package label that stores data or information legible with a software application to facilitate authentication.
The stored data or information referred to in sub-rule (6) shall include the following particulars namely:
(i) unique product identification code;
(ii) proper and generic name of the drug;
(iii) brand name;
(iv) name and address of the manufacturer;
(v) batch number;
(vi) date of manufacturing;
(vii) date of expiry; and
(viii) manufacturing license number.
In March the ministry had asked the department of pharmaceuticals (DoP) to shortlist the 300 drug brands that can be included for implementation of mandatory QR codes. The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) had identified the list of 300 drugs which include widely used medicines like pain-killers, contraceptives, vitamins, blood-sugar and hypertension medicines, etc.
Popular brands like Dolo, Allegra, Asthalin, Augmentin, Saridon, Limcee, Calpol, Corex, Thyronorm, Unwanted 72 etc were identified. These high selling brands have been shortlisted based on their moving annual turnover (MAT) value.