NEW DELHI: The government has extended the deadline to affix barcodes on mono-carton (ointments, eye/ear drops) by pharmaceutical companies to April, 2015.
India exports over $10 billion worth of drugs annually and to tap a bigger pie of the global generics market, the government has asked pharma firms to build track and trace capability for exports using barcode technology at three levels of packaging primary, secondary and tertiary (see box).
“Mono cartons are to be treated as part of secondary level packaging became effective from June 26, 2014. Now the effective date of affixing bar-codes on mono-carton as secondary level packaging has been deferred to 1st April, 2015,” Directorate General of Foreign Trade said in a public notice.
Barcode helps in tracking and tracing origin of drugs, which minimizes the chances of genuine medicine being considered spurious, sub-standard or counterfeit.
The government has asked pharma firms to build, track and trace capability for exports using barcode technology at three levels of packaging primary, secondary and tertiary.
Primary level packaging is the first-level product packaging such as the bottle, can, jar, tube, that contains the item sold.
Secondary level packaging is a level of packaging that may contain one or more primary packages or a group of primary packages containing a single item.
Tertiary packaging is typically not seen by consumers since it is usually removed by retailers before products are displayed for sale like brown cardboard boxes, wood pallets and shrink wrap.