Medicines are labelled with certain coding system and it is important for us, as consumers, to understand what the codes mean to ensure proper and safe consumption.
Let’s take a look at this coding system. For instance, a medicine labelled with registration number DBL 8630402711B1 means:
D : Stands for the trademark or patented name of the medicine
B : Stands for “bebas” or “free”, meaning the medicine can be consumed without a doctor’s prescription
L : Stands for “local”, meaning locally made (in Indonesia)
86 : The medicine’s registration year is 1986 – 1988; or the medicine was produced within this period
304 : The number of the factory producing the medicine
11 : Indicates the format of ready-made medicine
B : Indicates the capacity of the medicine that has been approved
1 : Indicates the main packaging
Another indicator is the circle presented at the packaging:
• Green circle with black edge: Over-the-counter medicine
• Blue circle with black edge: limited over-the-counter, usually it is also labelled with a cautionary warning because it contains hard drugs in a limited amount. There are several types:
P1: Cautionary! Hard drug. Read the guidelines
P2: Cautionary! Hard drug. Gurgle only, don’t swallow
P3: Cautionary! Hard drug. For external use only.
P4: Cautionary! Hard drug. For smoking only.
P5: Cautionary! Hard drug. Don’t swallow
P6: Cautionary! Hard drug. Hemorrhoid medicine, don’t swallow.