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Laxmi Yadav, Mumbai November 25 , 2022
The All India Organization of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD), a representative body of 8.5 lakh chemists in the country, has welcomed the Central government’s gazette notification mandating barcode or quick response (QR) code on the label of top 300 brands of formulations from August 1, 2023, saying that it will help identify fake and spurious drugs.

These QR codes will help to verify the fake and spurious drugs. 300 popular drugs have been shifted from Schedule H1 to Schedule H2 (newly added Schedule) in the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945, said AIOCD president JS Shinde.
 
AIOCD general secretary Rajiv Singhal said “The government’s gazette notification is aimed at curbing the sale of spurious, counterfeit or substandard drugs in the country which are not even in single digit percentage. This trace and track system is already operational in other parts of the world like the USA, Germany, Russia, Britain, and in some other countries. The drugs kept in this list are widely prescribed drugs, therefore their genuineness while delivering to the patient is very important.”
 
The trade body also fears that online sale of habit forming and narcotics drugs is posing a threat to the young generation. The government needs to take steps to curb the operation of e-pharmacies as they violate the provisions of the Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940 and the Rules, 1945, it said.

To avoid misuse of habit forming drugs, AIOCD called on people to refrain from purchasing drugs from illegal vendors selling drugs without complying with regulations in the country.
 
We appeal to our chemists to monitor the same as soon as the new stock arrives to safeguard the interest of the public being the real ‘Jan SwasthyaRakshak’ of the country, said Singhal.
 
The Union ministry of health and family welfare on November 17, 2022 came out with gazette notification no 823E implementing the Drugs (Eighth Amendment) Rules, 2022 which introduced a new Schedule H2 with a list of 300 top brands, and inserted Sub-Rule (6) and (7) after The Sub-Rule (5) in the Rule 96, of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945. This made it mandatory for pharmaceutical companies to affix QR code on the pack of top 300 formulations from August 1, next year.
 
As per new gazette notification, QR code will contain the unique product identification code, generic name of the drug, brand name, name and address of the manufacturer, batch number and date of manufacture and expiry date and manufacturing license number.

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