Hyderabad:  The Ministry of Commerce and Industry is going to implement the proposed 2D barcoding and a unique 'randomly generated numeric code' on medicine packaging meant for exports.

According to PV Appaji, Executive Director of Pharmexcil, pharma industries which are opposing the move can raise their suggestions and objections till March 31.

Appaji confirmed that barcoding is fixed and the government will implement it as per the schedule.

The Commerce Ministry had recently mandated all medicines manufactured and exported out of the country to have a barcode from July 1.

The Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has made it mandatory for drug makers to print a barcode on every product exported out of the country in the wake of overseas allegations that some local firms ship out forged medicines.

The industry is opposing the move saying that it would incur an additional cost for bar-coding procedure.

Any value edition to the product would affect pricing, said an official of the city-based Natco Pharma.

"As it is we have been facing serious competition from China on  all fronts. Barcoding needs additional investment on manpower as well as machinery and thus put pressure on pricing", M.  Adinarayana, Company Secretary and General Manager of Natco Pharma said.

The pharma industry estimates that the procedure of barcoding would cost them around Rs.1 crore to Rs. 2 crore, however, Appaji said as per government estimates it would cost them 30 paisa per strip.

"Putting barcode on primary packing is difficult and expensive but secondary and outer layer of the export package will be acceptable for the industry," Appaji said.

The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) recently indicated that it would make it mandatory for the companies that medicines for domestic supplies should also bear barcodes. However, the government is yet to come out with an order.

Agencies