CHENNAI: The Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers has directed all States to procure from domestic manufacturers only the drugs ‘Bar Coded’ at primary-level packaging from April 1. The order, dated January 14, issued by the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers, Department of Pharmaceuticals, said, ”The medicines procured under public procurement from April 1 must have Bar Code at primary level packaging. Such code will mandatorily contain name of the product including strength, brand name, if there is any, MRP, name and address of manufacturer, batch number, manufacturing date, expiry date, special storage conditions required, if any, and manufacturing licence number”.
Confirming the receipt of the order, P Umanath, Managing Director, Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation said, “We have also received it and are discussing with the vendors. Already numerical code is there, they are converting it into a Bar Code.“All our vendors should be in a position to implement it. We will discuss it and we will try to implement here also,” he said.
“The Centre has made it mandatory for their procurement. But we will take a call on it after discussing it with the vendors. All vendors are not ready,” Umanath told Express. However, drug manufacturers are sceptical about implementing it here. J Jayaseelan, chairman, Indian Drug Manufacturers Association, said, “It is not feasible to implement it. Bar Coding every strip is not feasible. It’s expensive and time-consuming process. Separate machinery should be procured for Bar Coding strips,” he added.
He further said, ”Since the government itself is making a direct procurement from the vendors through tenders, there should be no question of spurious drugs,” he added.