Medicines: Veg or Non-veg?

A panel of Indian drug experts will soon hold a meeting to decide on whether capsules can be made of cellulose

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Singapore: If reports are to be believed, vegetarian and non-vegetarian capsules will soon hit the Indian market, offering new choice to patients.

According to a report by a leading daily, a panel of experts will soon hold a meeting to decide on the material to make capsule shells.

Capsules shells can be made of cellulose or gelatin, while gelatin has been the norm since long. Cellulose is derived from plants while gelatin is a product obtained from the connective tissues, skin, bones, etc of animals.

The advisory panel and the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) will decide in the meeting whether cellulose capsule shells should be included in the Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission or not, the report suggests.

With vegetarianism and vegan diet becoming popular, drugmakers believe that there is a high demand for good quality vegetarian capsules. Experts also stated that vegetarian capsules have low moisture content and hence are inherently stable thus increasing their shelf life.

For cellulose to become mandatory in capsules, it would require an amendment in the Drugs and Cosmetics Bill.

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