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Pharma industry to seek permission for use of cartons with pre-printed labels

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The government had allowed manufacturers or packers to utilise existing packaging material/wrapper up to September 30, 2020, however, the pharma sector cannot avail this relaxation since it is governed by a separate Act

The pharma industry is considering making a request to the Government to allow the use of cartons with pre-printed labels.

Vinod Kalani, Working President, FOPE informed, “We have learned that the government has given an extension to use pre-printed packaging materials stock up to September 30, 2020, by stickering or stamping the new production date etc., in production of commodities.  A few pharma companies have approached us, informing that there is inventory worth of crores of rupees lying in pharma manufacturing units and requested us to make a representation to the government seeking similar relief for the pharma sector as well. We are gathering more information on the same to make a representation to the Department of Pharmaceuticals and the Ministry of Health.”

Recently, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Department of Consumer Affairs, Legal Metrology Division, the Government of India has issued a letter to Controllers of Legal Metrology Divisions of all the States and Union Territories informing that the Central Government permits manufacturers or packers to utilise existing packaging material/wrappers up to September 30, 2020, or till such date, the packaging material/wrapper is exhausted, whichever is earlier by declaring the correct month and year of manufacturing/ packaging on the pre-packaged commodities by way of stamping or putting sticker or online printing. However, the pharma sector cannot avail this relaxation since it is governed by a separate Act.

Rajesh Madan, Director, Medicamen explains, “Since pharma labelling is governed by rules specified in the Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940, this relaxation will not be applicable to pharma packaging materials, however, the government can give relief by allowing pharma units to use packaging materials lying with them prior to April 1, 2019, when changes made in Act w.r.t labelling requirements were made applicable.  Those packaging materials will not be having pre-coded batch/manufacturing/expiry dates, but will have warnings/red lines as per rules applicable before April 1, 2019.”

Chakravarthi AVPS, Ambassador, World Packaging Organisation said, “I do not foresee any issues related to pre-printed packaging materials, particularly in the pharma industry, there may be some issues related to cartons, faced by few manufacturers.”

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