The Health Ministry is ready to make quick response (QR) codes mandatory for each level of packaging of APIs (active pharmaceutical ingredients) used in medicines. For a medicine to be effective, its API has to be effective. India’s main drug advisory body, Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB) has made this recommendation to enhance the quality of APIs in drugs by keeping a track of the supply chain and storage.  

Punjab has been seeking provisions to hold API manufacturers accountable for the quality and purity of the products. It was found that certain APIs in drugs are not being manufactured at the right premises and/or with the right techniques. A similar proposal was made by DTAB in 2015 but couldn’t be finalized due to objections. A robust track-and-trace system mechanism for pharma products will be implemented in three months, as per the Commerce Ministry in June. 

India currently imports APIs from China to make certain essential medicines.