ASSOCHAM Conference held in Gangtok
“Integration of traditional medicinal knowledge with modern Pharma can make Sikkim a leader in Pharmaceuticals manufacturing” says H.E. Shri Shriniwas Patil, Hon’ble Governor of Sikkim at ASSOCHAM Conference in Gangtok
28 Jan, Gangtok : The domestic Pharmaceuticals market was valued at US$ 15.4 Billion in 2014 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 13.3% to about US$ 33 Billion by 2020 says ASSOCHAM – RNCOS Report released during ASSOCHAM and Department of Pharmaceuticals, Government of India Conference on Quality Management in Pharmaceuticals Manufacturing held at Gangtok, Sikkim. The Conference was organized by ASSOCHAM & DoP and was also supported by SIDICO, VHAS and SCC.
The Conference was inaugurated by H.E. Shri Shriniwas Patil, Hon’ble Governor of Sikkim. Other dignitaries who addressed the Conference included Shri Arjun Kumar Ghatani, Hon’ble Minister for Healthcare, Human Services & Family Welfare Department, Government of Sikkim, Prof. S.G. Tashi, Hon’ble Vice Chancellor, The ICFAI University, Sikkim, Brig(Dr.) Somnath Mishra, Hon’ble Vice Chancellor, Sikkim Manipal University, Dr. M Rahman, Registrar, NIPER – Guwahati, Mrs. Sherap Shenga, Director, Commerce & Industries Department, Government of Sikkim, and Shri Kailash Agarwal, General Secretary, SCC.
Shri Kailash Agarwal, General Secretary, SCC in his welcome address outlined the need for organizing this Conference. He said that that the Indian government has also been supporting SMEs through several incentives including the development of pharmaceutical drug manufacturing SME clusters in various parts of the country and Sikkim is emerging as a major Pharma hub of India.
Prof. S.G. Tashi, Vice Chancellor of ICFAI University of Sikkim said that Quality Control in the Pharma sphere have been a contentious issue globally and Indian Government has to take up this issue seriously for avoiding damage to the image of Indian Pharma industry. He emphasized on the need of quality education for creation of a skilled manpower which understands the concept of Total Quality Management
In his inaugural address, H.E. Shri Shriniwas Patil, Governor of Sikkim said that “Driven by favourable demographics including growing aging population, increasing lifestyle diseases, steep growth in disposable incomes and increasing penetration of Indian drug players in the global market, India is likely to be among the top three pharmaceutical markets by incremental growth and sixth largest market globally in absolute size”. He also suggested the use of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) which covers the manufacturing and testing of active pharmaceutical ingredients, diagnostics, food, pharmaceutical products and medical devices. He stressed on the need to develop public health planning with quality training of paramedics. He also emphasized on a unique flagship programme i.e. CATCH (Chief Minister’s Annual and Total Health Checkup) whose primary focus is to provide comprehensive health care which is to make Sikkim a healthy state through community mobilization and participation. He also added that there is a need for integration of traditional medicinal knowledge of Sikkim with modern pharma science.
In his special address Shri Arjun Kumar Ghatani, Hon’ble Health Minister of Sikkim said that “It is important that drug manufacturers should pay attention to improving quality standards of the pharmaceutical manufacturing. This can only be done if drug manufacturers follow the cGMP guidelines and regular inspections are carried out by the government officials. Upgradation of the machinery, single regulatory authority and automation of quality assessment will greatly help Indian drug manufacturers to meet international standards”. He added that one of the major problems in quality control is lack of sufficient number of drug inspectors. Various reports suggest that there are just 1,500 drug inspectors responsible for more than 10,000 factories in India.
Speaking at the occasion Brig(Dr.) Somnath Mishra, Hon’ble VC, Sikkim Manipal University apprised about the difficulties that the north eastern states are facing in providing quality health care services – from difficult terrain, poor communication facilities, detrimental weather etc. He suggested that innovative measures need to be evolved to overcome natural gap and build a robust system of our own. He also suggested for strengthening District Hospitals and Sub-Divisional Civil Hospitals with rational deployment of doctors and paramedical staff.
Dr. M Rahman, Registrar, NIPER-Guwahati at the occasion said that “Quality control in Pharma manufacturing should be concerned with sampling, specifications, testing, documentation, release procedures which ensure that the necessary and relevant tests are actually carried. It will also ensure that the materials are not released for use, nor products released for sale or supply until their quality has been judged to be satisfactory. It is not confined to laboratory operations, but should be involved in all decisions concerning the quality of the product.”
Mrs. Sherap Shenga, Director of Commerce and Industry Department, Govt. of Sikkim said that the North-East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy, 2007 and the pollution free atmosphere has proved to be highly beneficial for pharma investments in Sikkim. Sikkim is emerging as a Pharmaceutical Hub due to tax incentives offered by the Sikkim government as well as low manufacturing and labour costs. Sikkim is home to 14 major pharma companies, which have significant investments in the state. These include Cipla, Sun Pharma, Zydus Cadila, Alembic, IPCA, Alkem Lab, Intas Pharma, Torrent Pharma and Unichem. Vote of Thanks was extended by Shri Sandeep Kochhar, Head- ASSOCHAM Healthcare & Pharma Division to all the dignitaries.