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Adoption of QR code to assure quality of pharmaceutical products

Our Bureau, Mumbai
Saturday, November 19, 2022, 12:30 Hrs  [IST]

In recent times, most pharmaceutical companies have faced an increasing problem of spurious drugs, which are unauthorized and fake medicines developed for easy money. The results of which are life threatening issues, financial losses for consumers and manufacturers, and a loss of trust in the entire health system, according to experts.
Experts said that pharma companies realise the responsibility they have in the healthcare eco-system and, to ensure quality adherence, are adopting measures to tackle the menace of spurious drugs entering the pharma supply chain. One such method is the adoption of QR codes on product packaging. Patients should buy the medicine from reliable sources, and hospitals must buy from authorised stockists only. QR codes help the process, and important information on the pack, including the QR code, must always be checked, especially for well-known products.
Emcure faced a situation like this in recent past. The company observed an increase in the reporting of adverse events for Ferric Carboxymaltose (FCM), which is marketed as an injectable under the brand names "Orofer-FCM" and "Encicarb." This matter was considered very serious by the company's management and investigated thoroughly. Emcure noted the infiltration of spurious and counterfeit copies of the product in the market. The company has filed complaints with government authorities. To avoid confusion at the doctor level and for patient safety, a batch (which was of high quality) was withdrawn. 
Ferric Carboxymaltose (FCM) is very important injectable iron for correction of anemia available in India over more than 11 years. FCM has been invented by a Swiss company, and Emcure Pharmaceuticals has partnered and made this product available for Indian patients for the last 11 years. This product is manufactured under a very stringent manufacturing process, and international quality in terms of molecular weight, stability, pH, osmolality, and antigenicity is maintained and matched with the original product. Over the last decade, the product has helped millions of Indian patients rapidly correct iron deficiency and saved many human lives.
To counter the problem of spurious and non-standard quality drugs, support is needed from all stakeholders, which includes policy makers, drug regulatory and law enforcement agencies, drug testing laboratories, manufacturers, distributors, retailers, healthcare professionals, and members of Civil Society. Together, we all need to safeguard the healthcare ecosystem.


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