Drugs for exports must carry barcode

Drugs for exports must carry barcode

NEW DELHI: The government has made it mandatory for drugmakers to carry a barcode on every product exported out of the country to put an end to allegations overseas that some local firms ship out counterfeit medicines.


The new norms will be applicable from July 1, directorate general of foreign trade ( DGFT )), a commerce ministry arm said on Monday. Industry experts say the new rules will increase the cost of exports for Indian medicines and will impose a cumbersome compliance process.


A barcode is a machine-readable data, which contains information about the product including details about the manufacturer. It will allow authorities to track each and every medicine exported out of the country.


The drug control authorities at the ports can also retain a sample of the drug for its reference and tracking. The barcode will also check the practice of some Chinese companies selling fake drugs with 'Made in India' tag in few African countries like Nigeria .


About 3,500 Indian drugmakers exports medicines worth $10 billion each year to over 100 countries. India is considered the global pharmacy since local drugmakers are leaders in selling low-cost version of off-patented drugs.


Local drugmakers say such allegations of counterfeit drugs are attempts by international drugmakers to scuttle competition from generic companies.