India seeks to move bar-code tracking on drugs further upstream

SINGAPORE--India's health ministry reportedly is drafting a requirement that pharmaceuticals carry bar codes at the primary level of packaging, the single vials and strips of drugs. Current regulations require them on secondary and tertiary packaging only.

The Times of India cited an unnamed official who said the intent was to enable a patient to "track and trace" a drug's provenance via a mobile device. The bar-code information would be carried on a central website, the official said.

The India Drug Manufacturers' Association has objected to extending bar codes to primary packaging, calling it "cumbersome."

The newspaper said that under the plan, the government would bear the cost of track and trace, including the software for a company to provide access to its database.

- here's the Times of India piece