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Govt extends deadline for pharma barcodes

PTI 18 Aug 2014, 20:45:20 PM IST
New Delhi: The government has extended the deadline to affix barcodes on mono-carton (ointments, eye/ear drops) by pharmaceutical companies to April 2015.
Barcode helps in tracking and tracing origin of drugs, which minimises the chances of genuine medicines being considered spurious, sub-standard or counterfeit.
“Mono cartons are to be treated as part of secondary level packaging and accordingly the requirement of affixing bar—codes on mono—carton as secondary level packaging became effective from June 26, 2014.
“Now the effective date of affixing bar—codes on mono—carton as secondary level packaging has been deferred to 1st April, 2015,” Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has said in a public notice.
The government had asked pharma firms to build track and trace capability for exports using barcode technology at three levels of packaging primary, secondary and tertiary.
India exports over $10 billion worth of drugs annually.
The government wants to increase that figure manifold in the next few years. There is a big market for generics in the developed world.
Industry experts say that the only way Indian pharma firms can tap global markets is by ensuring quality, and barcoding will help in that.
Primary level packaging is the first-level product packaging such as the bottle, can, jar, tube, that contains the item sold.
Secondary level packaging is a level of packaging that may contain one or more primary packages or a group of primary packages containing a single item.