Bar Coding Made Mandatory for Pharma Exports from July 2011

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The bar coding on all medicine packs meant for exports has been made mandatory by the Commerce Ministry with effect from July 1, 2011 to trace and track the medicines to its source of origin.

In a public notice issued on January 10, 2011, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade specified that the rule mandates all exporters of pharmaceutical products to be equipped with the technology to affix barcodes during the interim period. Furthermore, the track and trace technology that should be used by drug exporters should conform to the GS-1 standards at all levels of packaging. GS-I is a global organisation that designs and implement such standards.

While primary-level packs will see incorporation of 2D (two-dimensional) bar codes on medicines at strip, vial and bottle encoding of unique product identification code, batch number, expiry date and serial number, similar details will be displayed on the secondary and tertiary (shipper or carton) using 1D or 2D barcodes.

Moreover, the recommendation for introducing bar coding was made by the manufacturers themselves, as per the industry officials.


India Brand Equity Foundation, January 13, 2011