QR code to find out whether medicines are genuine or not, will start soon

New Delhi: Talk about healthcare and the one thing that cannot easily go wrong is medicines. Side effects of taking the wrong dosage can range from serious side effects to increased symptoms. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 10 percent of medical products in low- and middle-income countries are either substandard or misbranded – yet, globally such cases occur. However, in a recent effort to end the proliferation of counterfeit drugs, the government will soon introduce a ‘track and trace’ mechanism for drug manufacturers to check the use of counterfeit and substandard products.

Reports suggest that more than 300 drug makers will affix barcodes or QR codes on packaging panels – this is likely to include antibiotics sold for more than Rs 100 per strip.

Key Points of ‘Track and Trace’ Mechanism

The new mechanism will allow buyers to scan the QR code which will take them to the government website.

Consumers can feed a unique ID code on the government portal and track it through their phone.

Though there are a few weeks for the big launch, the system is likely to result in a marginal increase of 3-4 per cent in prices.

In the first phase, the primary package of 300 best-selling drugs will have barcodes.

The QR code will authenticate information about the drug, its identification code, generic and proper name, name and address of the manufacturer, brand name, date of manufacture and expiry, manufacturing license number and batch number.

The Center is reportedly working on setting up a central database agency, where consumers can access information through a single barcode provider for the entire industry.