Welcome Guest

Home Article Features Ecosystem  SMEs oppose Pharma bar coding

SMEs oppose Pharma bar coding

Total exports of pharmaceuticals by SMEs are about Rs 20,000 crore. There are about 6,000 SMEs in the pharma industry, spread across the country

BY Entrepreneur  |  May 12, 2011 comments ( 0 ) |

The centre’s decision to make bar coding mandatory on all medical consignments  w.e.f Ist July has not gone down well  with small and medium-sized pharmaceutical companies, which account for 40 per cent of India’s total drug exports. Even though, it is aimed at skirmishing the problem of spurious drugs, the traders are not too happy as they fear this will increase the input costs of SMEs which will have an adverse impact on Indian exports of drug formulations to the highly competitive world markets.


Total exports of pharmaceuticals by SMEs are about Rs 20,000 crore. There are about 6,000 SMEs in the pharma industry, spread across the country.


 “The Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) order, which makes bar coding essential for exports from July 2011, should be withdrawn. If it isn’t, SMEs in the pharma industry will be wiped out from the formulations business. We are already facing tough competition from China, and with the guidelines in place, we fear that our exports will decline, as it will make products costlier,” SPIC (SME Pharma Industries Confederation) Secretary General Jagdeep Singh said.


A costly affair

The bar coding company appointed by the government agrees that bar codes cannot prevent fake or spurious drugs, arguing that they can be replicated more easily than credit cards. He said separate bar codes being mandated for every strip of tablets will add to the cost for manufacturers.


The cost of registration for each SME will be around Rs 20,000, besides which there will be recurring expenses of Rs 1 lakh per month for bar coding( including labour). Besides that, the installation of machines would require an investment of Rs 1 crore per packing line. This will increase the input cost and virtually hand over the export market to China or multinationals, to the loss of Indian SME exporters.


Surinder Singh, Drug Controller General of India, said, “The cost will not be too high as feared by the pharma companies. According to me, it will cost less than 30 paise per strip.” But manufacturers think that even 30 paise per strip is too high, citing the example of paracetamol tablets which are exported at Rs 1.50 for a strip of 10 tablets.


Indian Drug Manufacturers’ Association President N R Munjal said, "According to the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), the extent of spurious drugs in retail pharmacies is only 0.003 per cent, so I don’t think there is any need to implement bar coding. The move will definitely affect small pharma units, as they would need at least Rs 1 crore to set up one line for bar coding, besides other recurring expenses. The whole process needs computerisation, while currently SMEs have manual packing lines.”


IDMA is one of the oldest associations of pharma companies. It has 800 members, consisting of large, medium and small companies.

Please add your comment

Not readable? Change text. Enter the characters as seen on the image (case insensitive)
  Notify me of follow up comments via e-mail   Subscribe for daily newsletter

Related Articles

IIMs entrepreneurial grads

BY Entrepreneur

IIM grads have beaten the common belief that finance and marketing are the sectors for them, choosing every other possible sector and managing them...

Why Women are Better Entrepreneurs?

BY Entrepreneur

Recently a study by FICCI’s ladies organization (FLO) has found that women entrepreneurs face an uphill task when it comes to starting their ...

Small Business in India

BY Ritu Marya

Today 95 per cent country’s industrial units come under Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME). This sector has around 128.44 units (prov...

Time to Walk the Talk

BY Entrepreneur

A high level task force was set up last year under the Chairmanship of T.K.A Nair to recommend effective measures for the overall development of th...

Education: No Bar, Success: Baar Baar

BY Entrepreneur

It is not the academics that decide one’s success at business but the determination to succeed, the will to work hard and the guts to face ad...

Green with Pride

BY Entrepreneur

Going green is in vogue these days! A survey conducted by Ernst and young recently showed that companies worldwide are likely to spend 70 per cent ...

Enter the ecosystem

BY Entrepreneur

Why do 90% of startups fail within less than two years of starting up? Their ideas are brilliant but they fall sick because of lack of proper guida...

Buzzing Helpline for Enterpreuners

BY Arindam Ghosh

Entrepreneurs are now just a phone call away from getting assistance from the government towards helping them in setting up their own business vent...

Upcycling CWG waste for environment cons

BY Entrepreneur

We have often heard the phrase, “Good riddance of the bad rubbish”, how about turning the tables for once and accept the rubbish and re...

SMEs and Crime

BY Entrepreneur

What’s more, without any proper regulatory body the tentacles are alarmingly growing. Don't you think, it’s about time; we take a stock of...

CWGs waste management

BY Entrepreneur

Further, the Games signage supplier, Signage India Pty Ltd sold this flex banners and billboards which is made of polyvinyl chloride or PVC to Cons...

FISME’s Pre- Budget Wish list for FM

BY Entrepreneur

FISME has put out its wish list for the MSME Ministry and the Finance Minster to look over and react upon. It covers major issues like GST, PMEGP,NSIC...