New Delhi:The 15th National Pharmaceutical Conclave, organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in partnership with the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers, concluded here on Monday with Dr R K Vats, Chairman of National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) and Additional Secretary & Director General of Central Government Health Scheme exhorting pharma companies to ensure quality by exercising self-control. He urged them to maintain parity between the quality of medicines supplied to international markets and those supplied to domestic markets. Quality compliance should come from within, he said.
Dr Vats is also the Managing Director of public sector unit Hindustan Lifecare Limited (HLL) which is spearheading the government’s Amrit programme. Amrit is short for Affordable Medicines and Reliable Implants for Treatment. Under this programme, branded high quality drugs, especially life-saving drugs and medical implants and devices are supplied at up to 55 per cent discount on maximum retail price (MRP) through Amrit Pharmacies set up inside government hospitals. At present, there are 144 Amrit pharmacies in the country and their numbers will gradually increase to 1,000 by 2021. The first Amrit Pharmacy was set up three years back at AIIMS in New Delhi.
Speaking at the conclave, Dr Eswara Reddy, Drugs Controller General of India, said that India could no longer continue to depend on the past glory of being a generics leader and a supplier to the world. Innovation was the need of the hour and it was essential to move beyond the generics, he said. He urged CII to collaborate with regulators for quality assurance and for improving the capacity of the market. He also called upon CII to set up centres of excellence on drug formulation and development.
Mr Satish Reddy, Member of CII National Committee on Pharmaceuticals and Chairman of Dr Reddy’s Laboratories said there three key issues which needed focus of both government and industry. These were APIs, innovation and capacity building. On APIs, Dr Reddy said that cluster development must be initiated to ensure the survival of the industry. On innovation, he said that low-cost competitiveness was not going to last long. New ways of drug discovery had to be found through innovative and out-of-the-box thinking, he said.
Setting the context of the conclave, Mr Srini Srinivas, Co-chairman of CII National Committee on Pharmaceuticals and Managing Director of Pfizer Healthcare India said that better growth in pharmaceutical sector would depend on the ability of companies to fix compliance issues. If we achieve regulatory capability where mutual recognition of manufacturing in India is accepted globally, it will significantly improve the perception of the quality of Indian products, he said.
CII’s Pharmaceuticals Committee acts as an enabler to foster growth opportunities in the sector. It works on various issues with stakeholders to stay innovation-driven, globally quality-compliant and positions India as a hub for affordable and quality medicines. The committee has been taking active initiatives on various issues of the pharmaceutical industry such as bulk drugs, quality, and ease of doing business.