Beginning 1 July 2011, all exports of pharmaceuticals and drugs from India would be made under a trace and track surveillance system.
This would be done at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels of packaging labels following GS-1 global standards, the Director General of Foreign Trade said in a public notice.
The new measure is aimed at countering incidents like last year's seizure of some consignments of pharmaceuticals and drugs exported to Africa from China by African regulatory authorities on the grounds of their being sub-standard or spurious.
These consignments though had originated in China had labels of 'Made in India' pasted on them. This had created some adverse publicity for Indian generic pharmaceuticals and India had to specifically take this up with the African drug regulatory authorities and the Chinese government.
The Chinese government had informed the Government of India that these consignments had been sent from China and the relevant exporters had been criminally prosecuted and cases against them in courts were pending.
India is a major producer and exporter of generic pharmaceuticals and has acquired the role of pharmacy for the developing world. Indian drugs and pharmaceuticals are sold at affordable prices and have been found to be safe, efficacious and of good quality.