Indian health ministry to roll out medical labelling changes

20th January 2014 - Fine Cut

India's Union health ministry is planning to roll out changes to medical labelling methods to ensure product identification does not feature too much unnecessary information.

The new provision, which will be carried out under the Drugs and Cosmetic Rules, is expected to go against instances that drug products are marketed by displaying additional information such as the name of the firm as "marketed by" or "in association with" along with the name of the manufacturer.

Campaigners have argued that having too much information on medical products could cause confusion for consumers regarding which company actually developed the medication. In addition, it is believed the name of the firm marketing a product sometimes gives the impression that the drug has been produced by this company.

Under the current rules, methods for medical labelling do not prohibit the identification of medicines with the name of the marketer along with the original manufacturer. However, India's health body is planning to amend Rule 96 to forbid the labelling of drugs with any company other than the manufacturer.

A recent meeting of the Drugs Consultive Committee (DCC) agreed with the potential of changing medical labelling methods. According to pharmabiz, it said: "The DCC agreed in principle and recommended that a provision may be made in the rules that the label of the drug formulation should not contain any other information except what is required under the D&C Act and Rules or is required to be given in compliance to any other Act in force."

Health officials in India are also in talks over amending labelling rules further, by debating whether or not products should feature information including the batch number, expiry date and the name of the manufacturer on the credit memo for all drugs.

Keeping consumers in the know about the products they purchase is a key priority for manufacturers - and food ingredients have been a key issue for campaigners in recent months.

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