India extends aggregation deadline for drug exports

India’s Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has delayed another deadline for its track-and-trace system for exported medicines.

In a notice published earlier this month, the DGFT confirmed it would extend the implementation date for parent-child data or ‘aggregation’ in the system – in other words linking the individually coded packs with the codes used on cartons, cases, and pallets used in shipping – until April 1 next year.

The extension also applies to the uploading of parent-child data to the centralised portal, according to the notice (No. 16/2015-2020), which also says the extension applies both small (small scale industries or SSIs) and large drugmakers.

India’s traceability system for exported drugs has had a few teething troubles, and this marks the second occasion that the DGFT has opted to extend the deadline for aggregation and reporting. Last year, a sampling study found that a large quantity of drugs examined at Mumbai’s largest port uncovered non-compliant drugs worth around $150m that were subsequently detained.

Last month, India’s government appointed a new expert committee that has been given the task of improving the existing serialization and traceability drive for exported drugs, as well as speed up the extension of the programme for medicines distributed in the domestic market.

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