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Firms get six months to repackage drugs
[March 02, 2006]

Firms get six months to repackage drugs

(The Jakarta Post Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)from THE JAKARTA POST -- SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2006 -- PAGE 4 Pharmaceutical companies have six more month to include generic names and retail prices on drug packaging or risk sanctions, Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari said Friday

Siti said about 200 drug companies in Indonesia were not displaying comprehensive information on the packaging of the branded drugs they produced

"The public should be given complete information about what they buy


This is in line with efforts to empower and protect consumers," Siti said

Siti has issued one ministerial decree last year and two more this year obliging drug-makers to print the generic names of medicines under their brand names. The decrees require generic names to be at least 80 percent of the size of brand names. The recommended retail price for the branded product must also be stated

The ministry had set an October 2005 deadline for all drug companies to comply with the new rules. However, some 200 producers have not yet changed their packaging

Siti warned pharmaceutical companies they now had six months to comply with the new rules

She said printing the generic names of drugs on packaging would help ensure consumers did not mistakenly take the wrong medicines

Ministry director general for pharmaceuticals and medical equipment Krissna Tirtawidjaya said the three main kinds of medicines -- generic, branded generic, and patented medicines -- were being sold at widely ranging prices

"A branded generic medicine could sell up for 20 times more than a generic drug," he said

Krissna said the ministry would revoke the licenses of producers that did not comply with the new laws

Drug companies have objected to some of the new regulations and asked for more time to change their packaging

In October last year, the Association of Pharmaceutical Companies asked the ministry to allow producers to sell off their existing stockpiles of drugs with the old packaging

The ministry agreed to the request

Copyright 2006 The Jakarta Post

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