China Pharmaceuticals: Information on Labels, Packaging to be Standardized

Though most medicine manufactured by foreign joint ventures, large State-owned enterprises, or foreign manufacturers (including imports) is labeled correctly, much of what is manufactured by small domestic producers is not. Product information and labels on locally manufactured products often omits potentially negative information, such as side effects, and often reads like advertising copy. Therefore, China’s State Drug Administration is now requiring the standardization of unified packaging of medicines as of October 1, 2001. Information provided on pharmaceutical drug labels will be uniformly presented so that consumers will be better informed. The same information and instructions will be required for the same kinds of medicine manufactured by different companies, including information on side effects, warnings, and periods of validity.