NEW DELHI: The Indian Health Ministry considers imposing a ban on the use of plastic and PolyEthylene Terephthalate (PET) bottles for packaging pharmaceutical products such as syrups and liquid orals. The move follows the recommendation by the Drug Technical Advisory Board (DTAB) to ban the usage of plastic and PET for certain specific categories of medicine where the risks involved are too high.
The government action will force pharmaceutical companies in the country to phase out the use of such bottles for packaging medicines. The government has no evidence whatsoever with regards to the potential health risks involved in use of plastic and PET. However, recommendation by the country’s top advisory body may compel the government to take necessary action at the earliest.
According to the DTAB recommendations, the pharmaceutical companies will be provided six months to phase out the use of plastic and PET from their product line.
Earlier, glass bottles were mainly used for packaging medicines. The industry switched to plastic and PET bottles especially because it was easy to handle for consumers, distributors and retailers. The advisory body believes that the shift from glass to plastic/PET was not based on any scientific study. There are chances that in extreme heat conditions, drugs packaged in plastic and PET may have adverse reactions.