It must have happened with you as well that your requirement of a particular medicine was of a few tablets or capsules but, instead, you had to purchase the entire strip. However, this picture may change soon. The government has prepared a plan to control unnecessary purchase and wastage of medicines. In connection with this, the Department of Consumer Affairs met officials of the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) and senior representatives of the pharma medical equipment industry. In this meeting, it has been recommended to find new packaging techniques for medicines.
What is the problem at present
The Department of Consumer Affairs had received many complaints through the National Consumer Helpline, wherein, it was said that despite the doctor prescribing only one or two doses of a particular medicine, the consumer was pressured by the chemist to purchase the full strip comprising 10 tablets or capsules. The chemist’s argument is that once the strip is cut, it will not be purchased by any other customer. The chemist adds that in case the expiration date of the strip gets cut while cutting out a few tablets, then too, it will not get sold. Another problem faced by chemists is that in the case of expensive medicines, pharma companies often refuse to take back strips that have been cut. In such cases, this loss has to be borne by the chemists. On the other hand, the medicines that have been unnecessarily bought by the consumer are wasted and cause monetary loss as well.
The government has decided that from now on, the medicine strips will bear the manufacturing as well as expiry date behind every tablet. Along with this, a QR code will be provided on both sides of the strip of medicine or on every tablet. It will contain information about its salt, manufacturing and expiration date as well as other necessary details. The government has recommended the use of new technology for this kind of packing so that it would be easy to remove one or two capsules or tablets. The government has said that although the new method of packaging will no doubt increase the cost but it will also stop wastage of medicines.