Indonesia Enforces Drug Labeling Requirements

The Indonesian Health Minister has set a deadline of August 2006 for full compliance with a ministerial decree regarding drug labeling requirements. Ministerial Decree 68/2006 requires drug companies to print generic names and retail prices on packaging for all branded drugs. The generic name must be printed underneath the brand name, and the size of the generic name must be at least 80% of the size of the brand name.

The deadline for compliance with the original decree was October 2005, but the Ministry of Health has since issued two additional decrees on the subject, as nearly 200 companies have not yet implemented the labeling changes. The Health Minister stated in late February 2006 that drug companies have six months to implement the labeling change, or risk having their licenses revoked.

The purpose of the labeling change is to ensure that consumers have full information about the drugs they buy and that they do not mistakenly purchase the wrong drug. The labels should help consumers more easily distinguish branded from generic drugs.