Taiwan sets June 2016 deadline on new packaging, insert rules

Drugmakers operating in Taiwan have until next June to make sure the packaging as well as inserts for their wares, right down to over-the-counter medicines, include information that is clearly understood by patients. Failure to comply carries a fine of up to $60,700 per infraction.

One reason for the new rule requiring clear information package, a Ministry of Health and Welfare official told the Taipei Times, is to enable patients to read about a drug's purpose and effect before they buy it and learn about them on the insert.

Chi Jo-feng, the official, said 8 types of information would be required on packages, including, in order: customer-service telephone number, name of the drug, active ingredient, its purpose, warnings, directions, dosage and a QR Code to allow patients to get the information by voice.

All of that will be required on the side of all packages, Chi said.

The new rule grew out of a survey the ministry conducted earlier this year, the Taipei Times reported. The poll found that 59% of people responding said they did not know the name of the drug they were taking.

Half the respondents said they had not read the information accompanying the drug and thus did not know about its side effects or even the intent of the drug.

- here's the story from the Taipei Times