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IDMA and NSF collaborate to create Change Agents of Quality Excellence

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Conduct a certification programme for 40 valedictorians who have completed the nine-month course in quality management and advise them to put the learnings they have received into practice

More than 40 pharma professionals became Change Agents of Quality Excellence after completing the nine-month long Advanced Program in Pharmaceutical Quality Management (APPQM) offered by IDMA, in collaboration with NSF Health Sciences, UK.

It is hoped that the MBA-styled programme, conducted at Acharya Institutes, Bengaluru over five modules of four days each, will create a cadre of Change Agents for Quality Excellence, who will endeavour to raise the bar for quality compliance within their companies. The long term goal is to grow this community across companies to help rebuild the reputation of Brand India Pharma.

In his welcome address at the certification programme, SM Mudda, Chairman, Regulatory Affairs, IDMA and Program Director, APPQM went through the components of the course. He urged the valedictorians to “convert quality into a management function and work beyond regulatory compliance for patient safety.”

Speaking about the highlights of the past year, Martin Lush, Vice President, NSF Pharma, Biotech and Medical Devices spoke about the transformation of the participants over the past year into confident quality management professionals. He urged the valedictorians to keep in touch with one another through the alumni group that would be set up, because he warned that their hard work had just started. “This is just the end of the beginning,” he said.

All of the participants who shared the learnings of this course during the valedictory function emphasised how their initial scepticism changed into self belief once they could measure the success and RoI of their learnings. Many of the concepts discussed during the course were implemented at their work places during the duration of the course and formed part of their final assessments.

SV Veeramani, Immediate Past national President, IDMA and CMD, Fourrts (India) Labs, too reinforced this message and urged Mudda and Lush to continue the efforts, with the next series to start in September. “We need to add to this community, so that they can achieve critical mass as fast as possible. Only then can we see a visible change in the Indian pharma industry.”

The course has received the backing of more than 30 pharma companies, who sponsored the 40 odd delegates. Ranging in size from $4 million to $4 billion, these companies should be complimented for taking a chance on an untried course, pointed out Veeramani, who has sponsored attendees from his company as well. Today, these companies are already seeing the benefits as their staff implement the learnings within their companies.

Speaking as both a patient and a journalist, Viveka Roychowdhury, Editor, Express Pharma, the media partner for the event, reminded the valedictorians to be always aware of the responsibility that they carried. As change agents, they are now expected to translate what they have learnt in the classroom into their daily work lives.

Guest of Honour Dr K Bangarurajan, Jt Drugs Controller, India speaks at the Valedictory ceremony
Guest of Honour Dr K Bangarurajan, Jt Drugs Controller, India speaks at the Valedictory ceremony

Guest of Honour Dr K Bangarurajan, Joint Drugs Controller, India gave an update on the initiatives of the CDSCO over the past few years to improve quality. While appreciating the efforts of IDMA and NSF, he also congratulated the delegates on successful completion of the course.

Guest of Honor His Excellency Stephen Borg, High Commissioner of Malta spoke about the areas of common strengths between India and Malta, saying, “Malta has a long tradition of providing medical care. In fact, we have been known traditionally as the ‘nurse of the Mediterranean’ . We are building on this tradition to continue to provide top quality medicine care.”

Praising the Malta-based unit of Aurobindo Pharma as a successful example, he informed the audience that more and more Indian pharma companies are considering Malta as a reference member state for the EU and to base themselves to be closer to the EU and North Africa.

He appreciated IDMA’s efforts to bring an NSF level certification program to India, concluding that “There are many bright spots in the Indian pharma industry. We need them to become brighter.”

The valedictory ceremony continued with the distribution of certificates to the successful students. Giving the vote of thanks, Dr Diwakar Goli, Campus Director, Acharya Institutes, Bengaluru urged the valedictorians to continue to practise what they have learned as ‘practice makes perfect’.

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