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Leaders convene to create road map for pharma industry’s progress at 70th edition of IPC

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To discuss issues on APIs, generic formulations, diagnostics and medical devices, biosimilars, pharmacovigilance; clinical research and more; under the theme Pharma Vision 2030

The 70th edition of the Indian Pharmaceutical Congress (IPC) was inaugurated at Amity University, Noida, today. Organised by the Indian Pharmaceutical Congress Association, a federation of five professional pharmaceutical bodies, and hosted by the Indian Pharmacy Graduates’ Association, IPC 2018 would see the industry veterans and thought leaders discuss and deliberate on the challenges and solutions in the road to achieve Pharma Vision 2030 over the next three days. Reportedly, this event would see a gathering of more than 6,000 delegates from all the sections of the pharma fraternity, who will participate in engaging sessions planned over the next three days with participation from 125 national and international speakers.

It was inaugurated by the Vice-President of India, Shri Venkaiah Naidu in the presence of Dilip Shanghvi, President of 70th IPC and Managing Director of Sun Pharma. BR Sikri, Managing Director, ABS Mercantile, Chairman – LOC, 70th IPC; Atul Nasa, Head of Office/Controlling Authority, Drugs Control Department, Delhi and Organising Secretary, LOC of 70th IPC; Dr Ashok K Chauhan, Founder President RBEF, Chief Patron 70th IPC; and Pawan Kumar Jaggi, Former Assistant Drugs Controller and other dignitaries were also in attendance.

“India is already on the road to become the third largest economy in the world and the pharma industry is an important stakeholder in the growth. The Union Budget 2017-18 shows that there is an increase of 23 per cent in health expenditure which will benefit the Pharma industry. The government has proposed amendment to the Drugs & Cosmetic Rules which will ensure the availability of generic medicine at affordable prices to promote the use of generic medicines,” said Naidu in his inaugural address.

The Vice President of the country had also interacted with pharma stakeholders for breakfast and the stakeholders had reportedly explained their problems at the meeting. In his speech too, he mentioned that during the CEO meet, he received lots of concerns related to growth of pharma SMEs. He also mentioned that he took note of all the issues related to the industry and will be in touch with Eswara Reddy, DCGI to receive regular updates on the sector. He also informed that today’s discussion and concerns raised by the industry will be shared with PM Narendra Modi.

He praised the Indian pharma industry for all its achievements over the past decades to make medicines more affordable globally, making special mention of anti retrovirals for HIV/AIDS. He listed the initiatives taken by the government of India to support the Indian pharma industry as well as price control through NPPA keeping the needs of patients in mind. He exhorted the industry to keep an unwavering focus on drug quality and good manufacturing practices. He earned a resounding round of applause from the delegates when he said, “Regulations should not become a strangulation.”

In his address as the President and Chief Patron of 70th edition of IPC, Dilip Shanghvi, Managing Director, Sun Pharma welcomed all the delegates and briefed the audience on the topics which would be covered over the three days IPC 2018. He said, “We have all gathered here today to showcase and commend the remarkable contribution of the Indian pharma industry and academia. A glance at the list of presentations, planned for the next three days, reveal the amazing diversity of research and innovations in the pharmaceutical sciences. The next three days will enrich us on topics ranging from APIs; generic formulations; diagnostics & medical devices; to biosimilars; pharmacovigilance; clinical research; herbal drugs and many more.”

He also gave an overview on the future prospects of the pharma industry and mentioned how the global spend on medicines is predicted to reach $1.4 trillion by 2022, with a CAGR of 4.5 per cent. Though Indian pharma companies have the second largest number of ANDAs as well as a leading rank in terms of DMFs, he pointed out that the industry still had a relatively small share of the global pharma market, in terms of value. Therefore “we need to undertake several initiatives to place India as a preferred destination for pharma innovation… It is imperative for companies to identify new engines of growth and invest in innovation,” he said. He also contrasted the situation in developed and developing nations in terms of access to medicines, saying that rising per capita incomes and changing demographics in the latter will see a corresponding rise in spend on medicines as well.

Welcoming all the attendees and participants to the 70th IPC, BR Sikri, Managing Director, ABS Mercantile, Chairman – LOC, said, “For the first time, the Vice-President of India has met 50 CEOs of top 50 companies in the Indian Pharma Industry. We welcome Shri Venkaiah Naidu and thank for his support. It is a proud moment for me to declare that India is the only country to provide efficacious medicines to more than 150 countries worldwide at affordable price. No other country provides medicines at more affordable prices than India. The industry in recent years has embraced the initiatives of the government including Swachh Bharat, Make in India, and Digital India, and we will continue to be committed to the great nation in realisation of the dreams of Ayushman and Arogya Bharat.”

Dr S Eswara Reddy, DCGI, India also addressed the august audience at IPC 2018. He said, “For the next five years, as the drug regulatory authority I have two major agendas. First is how we can build trust and confidence on the quality of the medicines that are manufactured, imported and sold in India. Though India is a major pharma hub for generic medicines, the perception of clinicians and bureaucrats about the quality of the generic medicines is not upto the mark. I ensure you that I’ll build trust and confidence on the quality of medicines that are going be available in future. My second objective is to build a positive image of drug inspectors. The drug inspectors have lot of constraints with regards to infrastructure, inadequate manpower and inadequate laboratories. The drug inspectors are doing their level best to ensure quality of medicines. However, the image of the drug inspectors in the minds of the society is often tarnished. It is our responsibility to rebuild the Indian drug inspectors’ image which is at par with international drug inspectors.”

He affirmed that the Govt of India of India is also coming up with a new drug and clinical trial rules and said, “With all these measures in the next couple of years the trust on the quality of medicines is surely going to improve. It is coming to be one of the stringent regulatory authorities in the globe. I am sure that in the coming years we will also be a member of PIC/S committee.”

Atul Nasa, Head of Office/Controlling Authority, Drugs Control Department, Delhi and Organising Secretary, LOC of 70th IPC proposed the vote of thanks to conclude the inaugural session of the 70th IPC.

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