The DoP in its revised Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India), Order, 2017 dated January 14, 2019 had made it mandatory for all medicines procured under public procurement to have barcode/QR code at primary level packaging from April 1, 2019. The para 7(A) inserted after para 7 in the Order reads as follows: medicines procured under public procurement from April 1, 2019 must have barcode/QR code at primary level packaging. Such code will mandatorily contain name of the product including strength, brand name (if there is any), MRP, name and address of manufacturer, batch number, manufacturing date, expiry date, special storage conditions required (if any) and manufacturing license number. It will enable drugs to be traced back to the source.
Recently DoP came out with a notification which gave a year-long extension in the implementation of the requirement. This came as a relief to many pharmaceutical companies who couldn’t implement the requirements at such a short notice. Though implementation of this requirement will bring up the production cost and reduce the production efficiency, this move will definitely help in the traceability of the Publicly Procured Drugs.
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