You could soon find out whether the drug you just bought from your pharmacy is original or counterfeit / spurious through a single SMS.
Drug Consultative Committee (DCC) - in its last meeting on February 15 - has approved the proposal that every medicine strip available in India ought to have a 2D bar code and a unique randomly generated numeric code (UID).
A phone number will be mentioned above the bar code, where the consumer can SMS the UID. A message will tell the consumer whether the drug is genuine.
DCC's recommendation will now be sent to Drug Technical Advisory Board. The final notification will come from the Union health ministry. Once approved, India will join Italy, Malaysia and the European Union, which have made 2D bar code and UID mandatory in an effort to curb spurious and counterfeit drugs.
Drug controller general of India Dr Surinder Singh told, "Once approved,every strip bought in India will have both the 2D bar code and a UID. It will destroy the spurious or counterfeit drugs market and assure consumers of the quality of medicines they buy. In most countries, barcoding is voluntary."