Friday, 5 June 2009

Law Proposal on Halal Guarantee of Products Would Strengthen Competitive Edge of National Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Products

Law proposal on Halal [religiously permitted] guarantee of products was hoped to strengthen competitiveness of pharmaceutical and cosmetic products amidst the tide of pharmaceutical and cosmetic products from China, India, and other states which were competitively cheaper but very doubtful of their halal-ness. This hope was expressed by PT Kimia Farma, PT Kalbe Farma, and PT Mustika Ratu in a general hearing session with Commission VIII of Parliament where inputs was heard for the evaluation of the Law proposal of the JPH Law as led by the Vice Chairman of Commission VIII of Parliament, Abdul Hakam Naja at the Parliament hall.

In the said opportunity, PT Kimia Darma, PT Kalbe Harma and PT Mustika Ratu hoped the JPH Law Proposal, which was intended to protect the consumers using pharmaceutical and cosmetics be voluntary instead of mandatory because if the rule were compulsory it would increase production cost and pose technical difficulties in the labeling process.

The labeling of product information pharmaceutical and cosmetics products was based on the need to protect the consumers by informing them the compounds of the products including the halal state of the product – but the obligation to put the halal information should not increase production cost which could bring a burden to producers. In case of additional production cost, producers would have to add the extra cost on the product price which in the end would burden the consumers.

Besides, the producers demanded for protection of their rights of secrecy of the formula as part of the patented rights which were legally protected, which must be made transparent to the auditor of halal examiner in the process of halal certification. The JPH Law Proposal need to prudently and permissively accommodate products made of blood and enzyme components, products that were 90% or more chemical, or those only slightly containing biological compound. It was notable that the Meningistis vaccine was only an initial element to make the basic compound which contain pig elements and had no substitute. Before any substitute were discovered, such cases might be regarded as a state of emergency because no vaccine of the same efficacy but contained no pig element, were known.

Of the solvent liquid in medicines in the market, only a small portion contained alcohol, however there were still a good number of chemicals for medicines which could only be diluted with alcohol. Today many blank capsule cases were made of gelatine derived from fish shells or plantations.
In halal labeling, it was necessary to involve the Directorate of Medicines and Food [DITPOM] of the Ministry of Health who were in possession of comprehensive rules, so that over-regulation could be prevented. And it was proposed that the validity of the halal registration be set for 5 years.

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