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Express Pharma hosts maiden Baddi Pharma Summit

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Industry stakeholders in the city congregate to converse on the role of pharma hubs like Baddi in India Pharma Inc’s growth saga

Lakshmipriya Nair/Mumbai

Express Pharma recently organised a conference for the stakeholders of the pharma industry in Baddi. Industry leaders and experts in the city came together to initiate discussions which will spur the sector to loftier positions at the inaugural edition of the Baddi Pharma Summit. The event is yet another step by Express Pharma to facilitate knowledge-sharing in different pharma hubs of the country to optimise their potential and pave the path for the sector’s continued progress.

After an auspicious lamp-lighting ceremony, Sushant Sharma, Assistant Drugs Controller, CDSCO, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, GoI took the stage to deliver the Chief Guest’s Address. Informing that every third tablet and second vaccine in the world is manufactured in India, he highlighted why we are the ‘Pharmacy of the World,’ and the huge responsibility we shoulder in making the world a healthier place. Emphasising on the need to pay utmost importance to regulatory compliance and quality, he said the industry should take care to not make any mistakes which would hurt its goal and repute. He also pointed out the need for improved communication between the industry players and regulatory authorities to plug any gaps that exist and accelerate India Pharma Inc’s growth trajectory.

Next, Guest of Honour, Dr Dinesh Dua, Chairman, Pharmexcil, Chairman, Entrepreneurship & Start Ups, CII North India, CEO & Director, Nectar Lifesciences spoke on the topic ‘Bulk Drug Park: Opportunities and Challenges.’ He updated the huge influence and dominance that India wields in the generics space in the US and other global markets and pointed out that our life sciences industry is poised for a huge transformation, especially as we roll out the world’s largest healthcare programme, Ayushmaan Bharat. Informing that we are the fastest growing pharma market globally, he said that the India pharma industry is likely to touch $100 billion by 2014. However, he also highlighted the urgent need to become more self-reliant in APIs and bulk-drugs and drew attention to the fact that the huge dependence on Chinese APIs could prove to be a deterrent to our growth story. He also stressed that pharma hubs like Baddi can play a significant role in this growth story if it helps India achieve self-reliance on APIs and bulk drugs.

The second Guest of Honour was Manish Kapoor, Deputy Drugs Controller, Drugs Control Administration, Himachal Pradesh. He said that the industry is in transition and as a result, some tough times are to be expected. But, the churn will only help us to emerge stronger than ever before if we take effective steps to streamline our activities and reduce inefficiencies. He also raised the issue of ‘Not of Standard Quality (NSQ)’ drugs and was emphatic that a reason for rising NSQs is due to inadequate tracking of APIs and we need to monitor their quality in a better way. He also spoke on the various steps and measures taken by Himachal Pradesh’s Drugs Control Administration to improve quality and compliance in the state.

The next speaker, Kalidas Bhangare, MD, Testo India took the audience through Testo’s growth trajectory and spoke on Testo India’s solutions ranging from sensors to software. Bhangare also informed about the company’s wireless/ethernet data monitoring solutions for humidity and temperature in the pharma sector such as Testo Saveris. Outlining its benefits, he said, “Uninterrupted and secure measurement of temperature and humidity values is possible with automated data monitoring system – Testo Saveris. Such efficient solutions become a priority because even 99 per cent certainty is not enough in pharma industry.”

Subsequently, Dr Anoop Kumar, Market Development Manager, Pharma CRO Vertical, Sciex, gave an overview on mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography solutions offered by his company. He also gave details about identification, determination and quantitation of impurities in pharma processes and explained how the importance of impurities profiling in achieving regulatory compliance by presenting a few case studies. He concluded by giving details about Sciex’s solutions for impurity profiling and genotoxic impurity quantitation.

Akash Agarwal, CEO & Director, Crystal Logistic Cool Chain, was the next speaker at the Baddi Pharma Summit. He brought the audience up to date about the cold storage solutions offered by his company and said that it is a one-stop solutions provider of cold storage solutions, making it a trusted partner for many renowned life sciences firms. He also elaborated on the innovations implemented in cold storage solutions by his company and briefed the audience about the value additions they offer. He assured them that all the solutions provided by Crystal Logistic Cool Chain will help them implement good distribution practices.

Matthew J Harle, Senior Manager, Field Marketing, Particle and Automation Products, Beckman Coulter, gave a rundown about his company and the milestones it has achieved. He informed that Beckman Coulter has 2,75,000 installations worldwide. He further told the audience about his company’s solutions for pharma manufacturing of aseptic products such as TOC Analysers. Harle also explained how his company can be a great partner for the pharma sector with product offerings that can help reduce costs and improve compliance at Baddi Pharma Summit 2019.

The next session was an interesting panel discussion on ‘Unlocking Baddi’s true potential.’ The panellists for this discussion were, Dinesh Dua, Chairman, Pharmexcil, Chairman, Entrepreneurship & Start Ups, CII North India, CEO & Director, Nectar Lifesciences; Sushant Sharma, Asst Drugs Controller, CDSCO, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, GoI; Dr Govind Pandey, Director, Kopran; Prof Dr Saranjit Singh, Head- Department of Pharmaceutical Analysis, NIPER; Sudhir Sawhney, Vice President- Quality Control, Acme Generics and SL Singla, Member of HDMA. Moderated by Dua, the eminent panel discussed the road map for India Pharma Inc’s progress and deliberated on the role Baddi will play in making India fully self-reliant, from APIs to bulk drugs. The experts reminisced about how Baddi became a prime destination for the pharma sector and recalled the reasons why it slowly lost its allure.

Sharma from CDSCO informed the audience that the regulator is trying to facilitate progress in Baddi’s pharma sector with appropriate quality controls and assured that the regulatory body is always ready to hear and deal with any issues faced by the industry. The panellists also listed down some initiatives and projects that were driving quality and innovation in the Indian pharma industry. They informed that we need to continue to invest in improving research and upgrading our processes to enhance our capabilities. The experts also insisted that training initiatives to help raise awareness and understanding of GMP among the pharma community in Baddi to curb NSQs is a must to sustain the town as a pharma hub. Each of the panellists also shared their insights on the steps and measures that need to be taken by the industry and the government to rebuild Baddi as a pharma bastion and revive its former glory.

Post the panel discussion, Parimita Barik, Executive, Sales and Marketing, Ami Polymer, took the stage to speak on the solutions offered by her company to benefit the pharma industry. She informed that Ami Polymer has several distinguished, technically innovative and challenging import substitutes for intricate applications in the pharma industry.

The next speaker, Sreedhar Joshi from Sreedhar Instruments presented his company’s growth journey and solutions for the pharma industry at Baddi Pharma 2019. He also spoke on the topic, ‘Metone and HIAC particle counters- Quality tool to enable the critical daily monitoring.’ He too elaborated on his company’s solutions and their benefits for the life sciences sector.

The topic after this session was ‘Distributed temperature control of laboratory scale reactors.’ The speaker, Anvesh Manne, Director, Polmon Instruments not only gave an understanding about his company’s products and services but also explained that his company is working towards reducing India’s dependence on foreign instruments, thereby truly working towards the ‘Make in India’ mission.

Prof Dr Saranjit Singh, Head – Department of Pharmaceutical Analysis, NIPER, in a very interesting and informative session, enlightened the audience about modern-day drug development challenges. Citing several pertinent examples, he highlighted issues such as loss of efficacy and poor dissolution, amongst others. He also stressed on the need for a strong R&D department to further innovation and prevent NSQs at Baddi Pharma Summit 2019. He also spoke on the various endeavours and projects that NIPER is involved in to gain new insights into our physiology and improve our drug development capabilities.

The last topic for the day was ‘Ensuring quality and regulatory compliance,’ one of the most pivotal issues for the pharma industry today. The speaker for this session, Hari Vayas Bansal, Chief Mentor- GXP Pharma Trainer Associate, Aqex Pharma Solutions rooted for the implementation of QbD across all levels of pharma operations. He elaborated how QbD can help to improve product quality, cut down costs, get products to market faster, increase process capabilities, reduce the impact of raw material variability and improve efficiencies, enable scale-up and more benefits.

Thus, the audience received a lot of food for thought at the inaugural edition of Baddi Pharma Summit 2019.

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