Mumbai : The Centre has directed the Indian Institute of Packaging (IIP) to set new packaging standards for pharmaceutical exports to African and Asian countries.
“As directed by the government, IIP is developing packaging standards in consultation with leading pharma firms for exports to African and Asian countries. The new packaging standards will be ready by next year,” Joint Secretary in Department of Commerce, Sudhanshu Pandey told reporters after inaugurating the workshop on ‘Packaging of Pharmaceutical & Its Safety Aspects” here.
The decision was taken after a big pharmaceutical order from India got rejected by Vietnam and product was recalled due to packaging issue, Pandey said.
“The government will ensure the regulatory body will adhere to the new packaging standards. There can be no compromise on the regulatory standards, quality parameters,” he said.
Packaging sector is one of the booming areas of the Indian economy. There is tremendous growth in Indian pharmaceutical manufacturing, which also cater to the requirements of the global pharmaceutical industry, IIP Director N C Saha said.
IIP is a national apex body under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, with the specific objective of improving the packaging standards in India.
The country’s pharmaceutical sector is the third largest in terms of volume and thirteenth largest in terms of value.
India is the largest provider of generic drugs globally with the Indian generics accounting for 20 per cent of the global exports in terms of volume.
Domestic pharma industry is expected to grow over 15 per cent per annum to outperform the global pharma industry, which is set to grow at an annual rate of 5 per cent, Saha said.
The market is expected to grow to USD 55 billion by 2020, thereby emerging as the sixth largest pharmaceutical market globally by size, Saha added.
Indian packaging industry is capable of meeting the global expectations. This has been a major factor in the success story of Indian pharmaceutical manufacturers and exporters, despite of having high demanding standards of the importing countries especially by the developed countries. In today’s consumer driven market, even pharmaceutical packaging can influence a customer’s choice, based on its appearance and attributes, he said.
In competitive market, with the continually rising pharmaceutical and healthcare segment in the country, there will be an enormous demand for packaging materials with effective functional properties and systems to augment the shelf life, retain efficacy and ascertain the brand representation for various products.
This will go a long way in fulfilling the consumer’s expectation of safety, particularly with the additional features of tamper evident and anti-counterfeit.