With a firm focus on sustainability, Cipla South Africa is implementing innovative measures to reduce its carbon footprint, such as digitising package inserts [PIs]. The PI will initially be accessible on a number of newly launched products, simply by scanning the QR code on the medicine packaging.

Package inserts contain various details pertaining to the drug, such as its approved uses, the prescribing information, and risks or common side-effects of the medicine. These PIs are required to accompany every single medicine. They are found in the medicine’s box, as well as in PDF format on the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority website.

Electronic product information (also referred to as ePI) was recently adopted on medicines in the European Union, but this approach is still very novel in South Africa. The digitised PI ensures convenient access to up-to-date information, as it can be easily updated, and also helps to improve legibility, as the font in printed versions is generally very small. Digitising PIs also helps to significantly reduce the number of printed inserts required, thereby preserving natural resources.

“This innovation is an important milestone for the business in terms of being future-focused and our aggressive drive towards sustainable business practices. This QR code project is the result of an effective partnership and collaboration with the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority, which was willing to adopt this new technology,” says Paul Miller, CEO of Cipla South Africa.

“We are focused on fast-tracking digital transformation, as we know that it will reshape the pharmaceutical industry. Technology can help to speed up processes, ensure better patient outcomes in line with our ethos of ‘caring for life’, and can also help to preserve natural resources.

“The valuable learnings acquired during this revolutionary project will be used to streamline the process going forward, as the intention is to implement QR codes on other medicines in due course.”

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