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Make India a leader in drug production: Kalam

Written by: Staff

Berhampur, Jul 4: President A P J Abdul Kalam today urged the pharma community to identify all missions that will make India the leader in drug production.

'' We must set a target of producing 40 per cent of world generics production, '' Dr Kalam said while addressing the Silver Jubilee celebration of College of Pharmaceutical Science at Mohuda near here.

The global production of pharmaceuticals, branded and generics put together is of the order of 550 billion dollars, while the Indian Pharma industry at present has a turnover of 12.5 billion dollars of generics for domestic and export markets against the production of 78 billion dollars worth of generics in the world, he said.

Dr Kalam said India has got a core competence of producing cost effective and quality pharma products. The pharma specialists assembled here and the students studying in various disciplines must keep these targets in mind and contribute adequately for the realisation of Indian Pharma Vision, 2020.

India, currently has 560,000 Pharma specialists and pharma scientists and 75 per cent of this human resource are involved in distribution and retailing of drugs in community and hospital sectors, while the balance 15-20 per cent were deployed in manufacturing, quality, R&D, regulatory sectors and in academia.

Dr Kalam said the remaining 5-10 per cent go for higher studies, hinting that by 2020 the demand for pharma specialists at various levels will be over 1.7 million in the country.

The President said, '' While on the industrial pharmacy front, we have done well, the pharmacy degree programme is required to be realigned with the job requirements. '' There was a need to restructure the diploma course, which will provide the necessary skill and behaviour for discharging professional obligations in community and hospital pharmacy.

'' At the level of the primary health centers, where there has been a shortage of medical and nursing professionals, pharmacists could play an important role in dispensing and counselling, ''the President said, adding India must develop a strategy to bring about continuous upgradation in pharmacy education to meet the changing needs of the profession.

The Pharmacists, he said, must be equipped with the state-of-the- art knowledge so that he or she could advise patients and serve as an interface between the prescribe and consumer of medicines.

Hospitals and doctors must ensure that pharmacist has patient -specific information so that they could counsel the patients under their guidance.

Dr Kalam said the pharmacist could also be a valuable contributor to family planning, TB control, malaria HIV/AIDS information and prevention, vaccination, and anti-smoking campaigns.

The pharmacist's intervention in such community medication management would substantially improve healthcare of the people and these aspects must be included in the current and prospective training programmes.

To be internationally competitive, the President said, '' We should incorporate courses in regulatory jurisprudence so that new legislations, domestic as well as international, are understood and implemented with utmost care and speed. '' The courses, he said, must include exposure to guidelines issued by International Conference on Harmonisation Good Manufacturing Practices Good Laboratory Practices (GLP), Good Clinical Practices and Generic Clearance Procedures for pharmaceutical products.

Dr Kalam said since the government had decided to share India's traditional knowledge in medicine with other countries in a digitally documented form, they could reject any patent application in their countries which use India's centuries old wisdom.

Such a decision was an essential step for protecting the intellectual property right, he added.


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