DV Sadananda Gowda, Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers, launched the 9th edition of Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI)’s Annual Summit – Healthcare Accelerated with the theme India’s Healthcare Transformational Journey, through the virtual platform.
Gowda commended on the efforts of global and Indian companies, research institutes, government regulators and hospitals for supporting the COVID19 vaccine development and its clinical trials. “India is often referred to as ‘the pharmacy of the world.’ This has been proven completely true during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic when India continued to produce and export critical life-saving medicines to the rest of the world. The contribution of the Indian pharmaceutical sector has been reinforced during this pandemic year when the companies, global and Indian, stepped in and stepped up their efforts in service of the country. I have no doubt to believe that these collaborations and the maturity demonstrated by the collaborations are going to define the Indian pharmaceutical sector in the years ahead.”
He added, “India has attracted large scale inflow of foreign direct investment to the pharma sector and the medical devices sector. As a matter of record, pharma export from India was over $20 billion in the year 2019-20 and is expected to cross $25 billion by the end of the current financial year. This was at a time when the domestic market has crossed $22 billion last year. It is indeed poised for much higher growth.”
The two-day summit began with an address by OPPI President Sharad Tyagi on ‘Reimagining India’s Healthcare in the next decade’, followed by KG Ananthakrishanan’s OPPI Director General’s address on ‘Refreshing Research’.
Tyagi said, “Healthcare and pharma industry have worked hand in hand with the government and the regulators in the last 10 months to ensure that the COVID virus is controlled in our country with all our might. The summit will pave the way to take these collaborations and partnerships to the next level.”
Ananthakrishnan, said, “Today more than ever, the world is looking for research and innovations to combat diseases. As a society, we need to recognise and reward high-risk innovations to strengthen the industry and thereby benefit the patients”.
Yesterday, the first day of the Summit also witnessed keynote speeches by S Aparna, Secretary, Department of Pharmaceuticals; and Dr Shamika Ravi, former member of Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council and Research Director at the Brookings Institution, US.
The Summit will also host five panel discussions on ‘India’s Healthcare Transformation journey’ and the role of finance, technology, trust and quality in healthcare and pharma sectors with Indian and global experts from governments, regulators, the industry, NGOs and the academia.
In a special session on COVID-19 Vaccine Updates, Jaak Peeters, Johnson & Johnson Special Envoy for COVID-19 Vaccine and Narender Mantena, Head of Global Strategy & CEO, Specialty Generic Injectables & Synthetic Biology, Biological E shared the global efforts on vaccine development with Sarthak Ranade, MD of Janssen India.
The summit, on the first day, conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr YK Hamied, founder of Cipla and the Special Recognition Award to Dr V G Somani, Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI).
Today, Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State, Ministry of Shipping, Chemicals & Fertilizers, will present the Acess Awards – for Outstanding contribution in Child Health to Dr Aparna Hegde, Founder, Chairperson and Managing Trustee of ARMMAN; and for Outstanding contribution in Healthcare Access to Harmala Gupta, Independent Non-Profit Organization Management Professional, Founder & President, CanSupport.
OPPI annual scientist awards will be presented to three eminent scientists by Dr Shekhar Mande, Director-General of CSIR and Secretary, DSIR. This year’s awardees are Dr Debabrata Dash, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi as the OPPI Scientist of the Year; Dr Rituparna Sinha Roy, Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISER), Kolkata as the OPPI Woman Scientist of the Year; and Dr Arun Kumar Shukla, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur as the OPPI Young Scientist of the Year.
The two-day session will end with a conversation with Neerja Birla, founder & chairperson, Aditya Birla Education Trust on the significance of mental health during the current COVID-19 crisis.