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We should aim for more research output | Dr N Udupa

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 What is the strategy shift that is needed in pharmacy education to accelerate the industry’s growth story?

The Indian pharma industry is globally well advanced and the country’s pharma education sector has contributed immensely to this growth by supplying qualified graduates who are highly skilled and trained. The research output is also good for the Indian pharma business.

The pharma education sector has contributed to great extent for bulk drug production as well. The strategy shift required is to enhance production of bulk drugs and phytopharmaceuticals. Drug discovery programmes should also be strengthened through pharma education.

We should aim for more research output with industry collaboration and partnership through the pharma education sector.

Government funding agencies are required to give sufficient seed money and the industry should focus on contributing through BIRAC schemes. IITs will also be helpful for furthering the growth and progress of the Indian pharma industry, in the long run.

The industry is talking about the creation of Quality Pharmacists by Design’ (QPBD)? What would this involve and what are the immediate measures that need to be taken by pharma educational institutes?

Though Quality Assurance and Regulatory PG programmes exist in a few institutions of India, the industry has not yet come forward. Through Drugs Control department, Health Ministry and ICMR, we have to push regulatory and quality assurance programmes of eminent universities and IITs with industry collaboration and partnerships to enable the creation of quality pharmacists by design.

What is the foremost responsibility of a pharmacy teacher in the current times to create a productive learning environment?

Though 1500 plus pharma educational institutes exist in India, the quality of teachers and leading researchers are lacking due to poor management support. There are hardly 50 institutions in India that provide quality pharma education with teachers pursuing research. Though several opportunities for national, international grants are available, there are only few institutions claiming for the same.

Pharmacy teachers should have more zeal for improved research output and quality upgradation. The teachers should motivate talented students and youth for higher research output and technological innovation.

What is your message for your fellow teachers?

We have to work hard to enhance our research output. We have to lift our quality output. We have to see that our talented students become innovative entrepreneurs. We must collaborate with foreign universities and industries. We have to raise our institutions’ eminence.

Next article – There is a need to revamp education system | Prof Chandrakant Kokate

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