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KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Driving progress in pharma packaging

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In a hardhitting keynote address, Ajit Singh, Chairman, ACG gave an overview of the packaging industry. Highlighting various concerns in the path of the sector’s progress, he said, “It’s really disturbing that hardly 1.2 per cent of our GDP is contributed by the government towards healthcare in general which includes medical and packaging. This 1.2 percent is spread among a huge number of people, the amount per head is hardly noticeable.” In his opinion, we have a healthcare system, which is neither healthy, nor caring, or a system.

He raised very pertinent questions such as; ‘Can we be happy with the state affairs and the progress in healthcare, especially for medicine and pharma packaging?’ He also opposed government’s price control measures in packaging. Further he gave a call to the
industry to collbaorate and put forth thier recommendations and views to drive policy
decisions. He said, “It is our job to help the government to get their priorities in order and then to ensure that they follow up with those priorities. Where is the representation that we should be making to the government? By what means we are influencing the drugs technical advisory board, or the ministry of health, or the ministry of pharmaceuticals. There are individuals prepared to listen to us, but do we know who they are? Why are we not initiating parliamentary questions on such questions?”

He also touched upon the subject of falsified medicines and ways to tackle this menace through effective packaging. He pointed out that often cigarette packaging is superior to those of medicines and drugs. He also rooted for technology adoption for safety and quality.

Concluding his address, he said, “In the last few years there have been tremendous progress in this area little in packaging material, little less in packaging machinery, but far more needs to be done and we are the people who need to do it.”

Key takeaways:

  • A consortia of industry stakeholders should be set-up to prepare white papers and persuade the government to make policies conducive for the growth of the industry
  • Packaging should be sustainable, cost-effective, innovative and user friendly
  • Improve safety in medicine by including track and trace elements in the packaging

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