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

The package insert contains details pertaining to the drug such as approved uses for the drug, prescribing information, and risks or common side-effects of the medicine1, and needs to accompany every single medicine. It is found in the medicine’s box, and also on the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority website in PDF format2.

Electronic product information (also referred to as ePI) was recently adopted for medicines in the European Union3, but this approach is still very novel in South Africa. The digitized PI ensures convenient access to up-to-date information; as it can be easily updated and also helps improve legibility as the font on the printed versions is generally very small. It also helps to significantly reduce the amount of printed inserts required, thereby preserving natural resources.

CEO of Cipla South Africa, Paul Miller, said: “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 has been facilitated by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) post changes in labelling legislature, that allows for adoption of this new technology.

“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, can help to 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,” said Miller.


  1. NCBI. Package inserts and the standard of care. Accessed online:
  2. SAHPRA repository of Professional Information and Patient Information Leaflets. Accessed online:
  3. EPR. EU adopts electronic product information standard for medicines. Accessed online: