VK Singh proposes Ghaziabad as the next pharma hub to the Health Minister
Usha Sharma– Ghaziabad
Union Health Minister Jagat Prakash Nadda recently laid the foundation stone to build an advanced research centre at Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC) in Ghaziabad. The estimated investment for building the centre, which is likely to be ready in one year, is approximately Rs 60 crores.
Other key dignitaries present at the ceremony were, Dr Jagdish Prasad, Director General of Health Services. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare; VK Singh, Union Minister of State for External Affairs; Dr Nityanand and Dr B Suresh, Vice Chancellor, JSS University, Mysore and President, Pharmacy Council of India, New Delhi.
Nadda said that the new facility will go a long way in improving the quality of Indian drugs. He also mentioned that the Centre has made provision of Rs 1750 crores to improve the drug regulatory mechanism. During the ceremony, the Union Minister also said that India excels in the field of pharmaceuticals and is exporting good quality medicines at cheaper rates to Africa and several other countries where it is in competition against European and US-based companies.
He further said that the Centre is going to ease the conditions of patent law which will help drug manufacturing units in getting their formulations patented without hassles. He also interacted with the representatives of the pharma industry on the occasion.
Dr GN Singh, DCG(I), welcomed the guests and shared brief history of IPC. He also informed that WHO Geneva has recognised the laboratory in IPC, Ghaziabad as a regional centre for drugs and vaccine monitoring pharmacovigilance programme of India. He also mentioned that since October 2, 2015, this (Ghaziabad) laboratory has become functional 24X7. Singh said that there is a need for a state-of-the-art institute, for which space is available at the existing campus. Singh said that a proposal will be soon submitted to the government.
In his speech, Dr Jagdish Prasad, also asked the DCG(I) to prepare standard guidelines for Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani as well. After the ceremony, VK Singh requested Nadda to consider making Ghaziabad a pharma hub since it is going to become a smart city and provide subsidies for making it a success. He also requested the IPC authorities/ scientists to develop standards which should become an ideal for the global pharma industry.
Nadda, while speaking about TRIPS, said, “We will continue our association with the African countries and low-cost quality medicines.” He also stressed upon the fact that in the next three to four years, many top selling drugs will go off-patent and that the Indian pharma industry should take this as an opportunity to file for patents. He also said that this is the right time to consolidate India’s position in the global healthcare arena. He said, “We should maintain efficacy and produce quality medicines and more than that we need to build and imbibe trust of the importing countries.”
Answering VK Singh’s proposal of making Ghaziabad a pharma hub, Nadda said that Ghaziabad is going to become a national centre for pharmacovigilance and a research centre. He said, “We both should take this forward to the respective ministries, as it requires the involvement of various ministries.”
Under the PM’s Digital India Programme, SUGAM, a portal for online licensing system was inaugurated by the health minister to ease procedures for upcoming pharma units. Reportedly, the objective of the portal is to build a transparent system and incorporate global benchmarks and practices. With the help of this portal, applicants will be able to apply online, track and receive the approval online.
VK Singh also mentioned that the research lab should be constructed using state-of-the-art technology with provisions for rainwater harvesting, solar energy and effluent treatment plant as Ghaziabad is included in the initial list of 13 cities of Uttar Pradesh shortlisted under the Centre’s smart city scheme.
Indian Pharmacopeia 2014 Addendum 2016 was also released, besides two more books at the event.