Now, ‘track and trace’ your medicine

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Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) logo. Source: Internet.

Hyderabad: Access to medicines that assure of quality and potency has always been a huge challenge for consumers. To address this issue, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) has decided to introduce a ‘trace and track’ mechanism that will enable identifying of counterfeit drugs.

The regulatory body CDSCO has already issued instructions to pharmaceutical companies that are involved in manufacturing of over 400 popular brands of medicines to implement the ‘trace and track’ system.

The plan is to convince the pharmaceutical companies and drug manufacturers to provide a digital number and a mobile number on the labels of medicines. The mobile phone number will enable the customer to send a message and get the information related to details of the manufacturer, batch number and date of expiry of medicines.

According to officials from Drug Control Administration (DCA), Hyderabad, the digital number will also enable the regulators to track the origin of the drugs that are being manufactured. However, senior DCA officials point out that it would be a big challenge for the pharmaceutical companies to come up with such a mechanism.

To convince drug manufacturers, the CDSCO authorities are set to hold a meeting with top companies on Monday to hammer out modalities of ‘track and trace’ system. According to officials here, the manufacturers have evinced their fears over cost that would be involved in coming out with the mechanism.

According to World Health Organisation, an estimated one in approximately ten medical products in low and middle income countries, including India, are of substandard quality. To quickly identify such drugs, the regulatory authorities have decided to introduce a ‘trace and track’ system.

All medical stores to have generic drugs

The drug regulatory authority has directed all the drug retail outlets to provide separate storage space like racks or shelves to store generic medicines.

The move is aimed at ensuring there is availability of generic drugs stores at every retail outlet in the country. The State Drug Control Administration (DCA) will be the implementing agency at the ground level.