Using technology to monitor quality in India
17th October 2011
According to the WHO the most frequently counterfeited medicines in wealthier countries are new, expensive lifestyle medicines, such as hormones, steroids and antihistamines. While in developing countries it is those used to treat life-threatening conditions such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.
The majority of fake drugs available are said to originate in India and China. India is also one the world's fastest-growing hubs for generic drug production. A majority of the medicines available in Africa come from Indian generic drug laboratories.
In an effort measure the amount of fake drugs in the market, the pharma industry and the authorities have come together. Measures under consideration include a certification system for pharmacists, and an open source website where consumers and companies can access data on fake drugs.
The Indian government hopes barcoding will give credibility to the generics leaving the country. From 1 October 2011, it will be mandatory for all pharmaceutical exporters to print bar-codes on their tertiary or outer-most packaging. The order also stipulates the compulsory implementation of a track and trace system will also include secondary-level packaging from 1 January, 2012 and primary packing from 1 July, 2012.
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