Soon a text message will be enough to spot fake medicines

It’s like impossible for a common man to recognize the medicine is fake or original. But soon that’s impossible work will be changed to possible and without any medical knowledge.

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It’s like impossible for a common man to recognize the medicine is fake or original. But soon that’s impossible work will be changed to possible and without any medical knowledge. To help people to recognize the medicines are genuine or Counterfeit, soon a new service will be started which will enable the person to just send a message or WhatsApp to verify its original or not.

Fake pharmaceuticals are potentially very dangerous, sometimes fatal—and they seem to be increasing day by day. Pharma manufacturers are expected to display unique codes on their best-selling products in the next three months and this move will knock out the counterfeits of the top 300 drug brands from the Indian market.

“Trace and Track” proposal is approved by the DTAB (Drugs Technical Advisory Board).  And that move is totally based on a voluntary basis, according to DTAB. The proposal states that the 14 digit code will be printed on the labels of top 300 pharma brands and they all should be unique to each strip and bottle sold in the market. The products’ label will also come with the printed mobile number that an user can contact to check the originality of the product and in response, consumer will get details like company name of the manufacturer, address of the manufacturer, the batch number, manufacturing and expiry date.

This move can help companies to gain the public confidence and the consumers will be free from the worry about the genuineness and quality of the product.  Even this can help inspectors to trace and track counterfeit drugs moving in the market. Several pharma companies discussed it with the government and agreed to follow the move and accepted the proposal.

The proposal is not clear on the aspect that how the process will follow and companies are waiting for the clarity on this and who will be responsible for creating a portal that allots the unique codes.  Initially 300 brands are selected to track-and-trace mechanism and the selection made on the basis of the market size, adding that, work was underway to collate the list of these products.

DG Shah, secretary general of the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance said that the development of portal should be the responsibility of the health ministry and if this happens then it improves the access to genuine medicines and reduces counterfeit products. He also told that 300 brands selling billions of products in the market and technical expertise required to develop the logistics to manage them with the trace and track mechanism.

According to WHO research reports released in November 2017, 1 out of 10 products in the market of low- and middle-income countries is either substandard or falsified. In India, market surveys showed 3% of the medicines were substandard, while around 0.023% were either spurious or counterfeit.

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