Pharmaceutical Bottles Banned in India
The Union health ministry has banned the use of plastic bottle containers in pharmaceutical industry. According to the recent notification by the health ministry, no manufacturer shall use the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or plastic containers in liquid oral formulations for primary packaging of drug formulations for paediatric use, geriatric use and for use in pregnant and women of reproductive age.
The pharma companies have been given a transition period of six months.Earlier packaging industry had expressed objections. However, following recommendations by the Drug Technical Advisory Board, which is government’s highest decision making body on drugs, the health ministry’s decided to impose a ban. The recommendations were in line with the concerns expressed by an expert panel that expressed serious issues of health hazards because of use of PET bottles in pharmaceuticals industry.
A public interest group, Him Jagriti from Uttarakhand, had also earlier made a representation to the health ministry. The NGO had sought a blanket ban on the use of PET bottles as primary packaging material in pharmaceutical liquid orals, suspensions and dry syrups with immediate effect as such materials can cause severe adverse effects on humans due to the presence of “endocrine disrupters”.
The PET bottles for packaging mainly liquid formulations has been used by the Pharmaceuticals industry for over 30 years. Other than the pharmaceuticals industry, PET containers are widely used for packaging milk, drinking water, spices, edible oils, and even honey, confectioneries and pickles.
With the ban, the pharmaceutical industry will now have to switch to glass bottles-which according to them will be a costlier affair.
“The issue was under discussion for long. However, a final decision has been taken and has been communicated to the pharma industry by way of this notification. While, the glass bottles are a bit costly, they are much safer and maintains the efficacy of the medicine,” said a senior official in the health ministry.
[Via The Asian Age]