The Provisions for Drug Insert Sheets and Labels, adopted at the executive meeting of the State Food and Drug Administration on March 10, 2006, is hereby promulgated and shall go into effect as of June 1, 2006.
Commissioner of SFDA
March 15, 2006
Provisions for Drug Insert Sheets and Labels
Chapter I General Provisions
Article 1 The Provisions are enacted with a view to regulating drug insert sheets and labels in accordance with the Drug Administration Law of the People’s Republic of China and the Regulations for Implementation of the Drug Administration Law of the People’s Republic of China.
Article 2 The insert sheets and labels of drugs marketed within the territory of the People’s Republic of China shall meet the requirements of the Provisions.
Article 3 Drug insert sheets and labels shall be reviewed and approved by the State Food and Drug Administration.
A drug shall be labeled on the basis of its insert sheet. The content of the label shall be within the scope of the insert sheet. Any words and marks with implied therapeutic effects, misleading information on usage, or inappropriate promotion of the product shall not be printed.
Article 4 A drug label shall be printed on or affixed to the drug package, and no other written words, audio and/or visual materials or other information are attached to introduce or publicize the product or the enterprise.
An insert sheet shall be attached to the smallest package provided by the drug manufacturer for marketing.
Article 5 The wording in drug insert sheets and labels shall be scientific, standardized and accurate. The insert sheet of a non-prescription drug shall be written intelligibly and convenient for patients to judge, choose and use the drug on their own.
Article 6 In the label or insert sheet, the letters or characters shall be clear and easy to be recognized and the marks shall be clear and distinctive. The label and insert sheet shall have no print faded and shall not be affixed unsteadily. Any addition or modification shall not be made by means of pasting, cutting or altering.
Article 7 Drug insert sheets and labels shall be written in standardized Chinese characters published by the National Language Commission. The versions in other languages shall comply with the Chinese version.
Article 8 With the aim to protect public health and direct the rational use of drugs, drug manufacturers may voluntarily apply to add warnings to drug insert sheets or labels. The State Food and Drug Administration may also request drug manufacturers to add warnings to drug insert sheets or labels.
Chapter II Drug Insert Sheet
Article 9 A drug insert sheet shall include the significant scientific data, conclusions and information concerning drug safety and efficacy in order to direct the safe and rational use of drugs. The specific format, content and writing requirements of drug insert sheet shall be prescribed and issued by the State Food and Drug Administration.
Article 10 Disease names, pharmaceutical terms, drug names, the names and results of clinical testing in drug insert sheets shall be expressed in professional terms published or standardized by the State. The units of measurement shall conform to the national standards.
Article 11 All the active ingredients or medicinal ingredients of traditional Chinese medicines in a prescription shall be listed in the insert sheet. For injections and non-prescription drugs, all excipients shall be listed as well.
The ingredients or excipients included in a prescription, which may cause severe adverse reaction, shall be specified.
Article 12 A drug manufacturer shall trace the safety and efficacy of its marketed drugs. For any modification to the insert sheet, an application shall be submitted timely.
The State Food and Drug Administration may also require a drug manufacturer to make modification to the insert sheet on the basis of the results of adverse drug reaction monitoring and drug re-evaluation.
Article 13 After the modification to the insert sheet is approved, the drug manufacturer shall inform relevant drug distributors, drug users and other departments of the modified content immediately, and use the modified insert sheet and label timely as required.
Article 14 The insert sheet shall provide full information on adverse drug reaction and indicate the adverse reactions in detail. A drug manufacturer, who fails to timely modify the insert sheet on the basis of the safety and efficacy data of the marketed drug or to fully explain the adverse reaction in the insert sheet, shall be liable for all the consequences arising therefrom.
Article 15 The approval date and the modification date shall be distinctively shown in the insert sheet.
Chapter III Drug Labels
Article 16 Drug labels refer to the information printed or pasted on drug packaging, including inner labels and outer labels. Inner labels refer to those that appear on immediate packaging; outer labels are those on the other packaging outside of inner labels.
Article 17 The inner label shall bear such drug information as the adopted name in China, indications or functions, strength, dose and usage, production date, batch number, expiry date and manufacturer. If there is no enough space in the package to include all the information mentioned above, the adopted name in China, strength, batch number and expiry date shall be indicated at least.
Article 18 The outer label of a drug shall indicate such information as the adopted name in China, ingredients, description, indications or functions, strength, dose and usage, adverse reactions, contraindications, precautions, storage, production date, batch number, expiry date, approval number and manufacturer. Where indications or functions, dose and usage, adverse reactions, contraindications and precautions cannot be fully noted, main information plus a “See drug insert sheet for details.” notice shall be indicated.
Article 19 The label on the package for transportation and storage shall bear at least the adopted name in China, strength, storage, production date, batch number, expiry date, approval number and manufacturer. Other information such as packaging quantity, precautions for transportation or other marks may be included when necessary.
Article 20 The label for drug substance shall include the adopted name in China, storage, production date, batch number, expiry date, applied specifications, approval number and manufacturer. Other necessary information such as packaging quantity and precautions for transportation shall also be indicated.
Article 21 Where one drug produced by a manufacturer has the same drug strength and packaging specification, the content, format and color of its labels must be the same. Where one drug produced by a manufacturer has different drug strengths or packaging specifications, its labels shall be clearly distinguished from one another, or its specifications shall be notably marked in the corresponding specification items.
Where a drug produced by a manufacturer is administrated as prescription drug and non-prescription drug respectively, their packaging colors shall be distinctly different.
Article 22 For drugs with special requirements on storage, its requirements shall be marked in the notable place of the label.
Article 23 The expiry date in the drug label shall appear in the order of year, month and day, with year shown in four digits, month and day in two digits. Its specific format shall be “Valid till XXXX year XX month” or “Valid till XXXX year XX month XX day”. It may be presented with numbers and other symbols as “Valid till XXXX.XX.” or “Valid till XXXX/XX/XX”.
For the preventive biological product, the expiry date shall be labeled according to the registration specifications approved by the State Food and Drug Administration. The expiry date of the biological product for therapeutic use shall be counted from the filling date. For other drugs, the expiry date shall be counted from the production date.
Where the expiry date is labeled to the day, it shall be marked as one day earlier than the actual expiry date; where the expiry date is labeled to the month, it shall be marked as one month earlier than the actual expiry month.
Chapter IV Use of Drug Name and Registered Trademark
Article 24 The drug name in insert sheets and labels shall conform to the nomenclature principles on the adopted name in China and trade name of drug announced by the State Food and Drug Administration, and shall be consistent with those appeared in the approval documents of the drug.
Article 25 The adopted name in China shall be conspicuous and prominent, and its typeface, size and color shall be consistent, and meet the following requirements:
(1) For horizontal labels, the adopted name in China shall appear in a prominent position within the area of the upper one-third of the label; for vertical labels, it shall appear in a prominent position within the area of the right one-third of the label;
(2) No such illegible typefaces as cursive characters and seal characters shall be used, and no such format as italics, margining and shading shall be used to modify the typefaces.
(3) The font color of the adopted name in China shall be black or white, in sharp contrast to the light-colored or dark-colored background respectively.
(4) Writing in separate lines shall be avoided unless limited by the packaging size.
Article 26 The trade name of a drug shall not be placed in the same line with the adopted name in China; its typeface and color shall be no more conspicuous than that of the adopted name in China, and its font area per character shall be no bigger than half of that of the adopted name in China.
Article 27 Unregistered trademarks and other drug names unapproved by the State Food and Drug Administration shall not be used in the drug insert sheets and labels.
Where a registered trademark is used in a drug label, it shall be printed in a corner of the label. Where a registered trademark contains characters, the font area per character shall be no bigger than a quarter of that of the adopted name in China.
Chapter V Other Provisions
Article 28 For narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances, medicinal toxic drugs, radioactive pharmaceuticals, drugs for topical use, non-prescription drugs and other drugs having special marks specified by the State, their special marks shall be printed in the drug insert sheets and labels.
Where there are special provisions issued by the State for drug insert sheets and labels, they shall prevail.
Article 29 The labeling provisions for Chinese crude drugs and prepared slices of Chinese crude drugs shall be formulated separately by the State Food and Drug Administration.
Article 30 Where drug insert sheets and labels are not in compliance with the Provisions, a punishment shall be imposed in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Drug Administration Law of the People’s Republic of China.
Chapter VI Supplementary Provisions
Article 31 These Provisions shall come into force as of June 1, 2006. the Provisions for Drug Packaging, Labels and Insert Sheets (Provisional) issued by State Food and Drug Administration on October 15, 2005 shall be annulled therefrom.