India considers banning PET packaging for pharmaceutical products

23 December 2013 (Last Updated December 23rd, 2013 18:30)

The Indian Health Ministry is considering prohibiting the use of plastic or PET bottles for packaging pharmaceutical products such as syrups or liquid orals.

The Indian Health Ministry is considering prohibiting the use of plastic or PET bottles for packaging pharmaceutical products such as syrups or liquid orals.

Pharma companies used to use glass bottles for medicine packaging but switched to PET bottles that can be handled easily in the distribution and retailing process.

Drug regulator Drugs Controller General of India has stated that plastic or PET bottles containing common drugs will be sent for testing to ensure the safety of such bottles.

The Drug Technical Advisory Body (DTAB) said that exposure of plastic bottles to high temperatures may lead to serious effects on drug formulations and result in increased leachability.

However, the government doesn't currently have enough scientific evidence to confirm health-related issues associated with the use of plastic bottles in drug packaging.

An Indian Health Ministry official said: "Since there is not enough evidence, the DTAB has recommended that in the first phase, the use of plastic or PET containers in liquid oral formulations for primary packaging of paediatric formulations, geriatric medicines, and medicines for women in the reproductive age group and pregnant women should be phased out and banned."

Drug makers will be given six months to implement the changes proposed by the study.