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Task force submits recommendation on track & trace system to Centre

Suja Nair Shirodkar, Mumbai
Monday, April 9, 2012, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

The task force, set up by the Union health ministry to identify software for drug manufacturing and tracking system, has submitted its final report to the Government for its approval. The task force has given suggestions and views on which technology should to be adopted to implement the much anticipated track and trace system and also on the modus operandi to implement the same throughout the country.

The task force which was set up by the government last year has recommended the adoption of SMS model and unique identification code as an ideal method for the track and trace system as it was found to be more viable and affordable to the industry. The team which was headed by Dr H G Koshia, as the chairman also recommended that this should be adopted in a phased manner from larger group to smaller group so that the industry can get enough time to adjust to the new changes.

He informed, “In our report we have tried our level best to recommend the best services available to the industry which is not only effective but also affordable to one and all. Our main objective had been to find a system that will assist in tacking  the source of the drugs that are manufactured within the country so that we can ensure that patients are safe from the illegal drugs that are seeping into the market.”

The recommended software could be used for tracking the drugs right from the manufacturers to the retailers to check the menace of counterfeiting of drugs in the country. This will help in identifying the authenticity of the drugs at the manufacturing level by a serialised code to maintain the chain of custody records.

Dr Koshia who is also the commissioner, Food & Drugs Control Administration (FDCA), Gujarat said, “Counterfeiting is a huge issue that needs to be addressed urgently as it is severely affecting the growth as well as the reputation of the industry, along with putting the health of the patients at risk. This report has been  prepared after thorough deliberations and discussions after taking into consideration all the suggestions given by the industry members and all the stakeholders.”

This task force was set up by the government with an aim to deal with increasing threat of  availability of counterfeit drugs in the market sold under the Indian brand. The report which was submitted in mid March is awaiting approval from the Government and from the NIC officials as they are the official software providers for the technological up gradation.

Once the recommendation gets the nod of the Government, the health ministry will have to amend the provisions in the Drugs and Cosmetics (D&C) Act to incorporate the changes which will then be enforcible for implementation.


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Madhusudan Vudathala Apr 13, 2012 2:44 AM
This is a laudable step to counter the counterfeiting trade.In today's world of Technology,the Technology is not very expensive. However as most of the Companies ,especially the medium scale Companies are governed by the tight price control,it would be worthwhile to build adequate mark up in the pricing model to incentivise the Manufacturers to adopt this technology.
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