IPA CONVENTION 2013, Indian Pharma Industry: Strategies for Excellence, Panjim, Goa - Report

The scene for the IPA Convention this year shifted to Kala Academy, Panaji ? Goa (8 ? 10th April) ? the land of scenic beauty, rich heritage, and fun ! And in this backdrop, the Convention turned out to be a roaring success, with a wonderful venue, exquisite cuisine, arrangements and hospitality ? obviously backed by a hard working and efficient local organizing committee led by Mr. Salim Veljee, President, IPA Goa state branch. The Convention, with a global focus on regulations and technical advancements in the world of pharmaceuticals brought together delegates from across domains, while also serving as a platform for deliberations and discussions. Considering the fact that Goa is fast emerging as a potential hub for the pharmaceutical industry, this was a major development in an era of dynamic changes in the pharmaceutical world of manufacturing.

The program The Convention, with the theme ,?Indian Pharma Industry: Strategies for Excellence?, the IPA Convention 2013 was inaugurated on 8th of April at the Kala Academy , Panaji by the Minister of Health , Goa State Government Mr. Laxmikant Parsekar. The Health Minister in his inaugural address said that the pharmaceutical sector in Goa has the potential to grow to Rs. 10,000 crore in export revenue within the next few years. He also assured the industry that his government would concentrate on creating an environment conducive to growth of the sector in the state and welcomed more and more industries to set base in Goa. Mr. Salim A Veljee, Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee welcomed the august gathering of pharma professionals, industrialists and academicians. He stated that it has been almost after 22 years that the state has hosted a large pharmaceutical event. In the current state of affairs, as the state?s mining industry has received a setback, the government will surely want to explore new avenues to attract investment in the state. The pharmaceutical sector is an ideal solution since it is non-polluting and Goa has already been a hub of pharmaceutical manufacturing activity for several years.

The keynote address of the inaugural function was delivered by Mr. Gerald Heddell, Director, Inspections, Enforcement and Standards Division, MHRA, who mentioned that the Indian pharmaceutical industry is already a leader when it comes to generics business. He also stressed that as an industry we must invest in building efficiency through automation.

The Souvenir for the Convention was released by Shri. Bhishma N. Thakore, seniormost Past President of IPA. Dr. J A S Giri, President of IPA also spoke on the occasion, and congratulated IPA Goa State Branch and the local organizing committee for setting high standards in organizing the landmark Convention, stating it as the best one so far.

The Convention was attended by close to 600 participants from across the country consisting of professionals, technocrats and regulatory personnel from the pharma industry, and academicians.

The scientific sessions consisted of two parallel tracks/sessions one on Manufacturing, Quality and Regulatory, and the other on Innovation, Discovery and Development, and Newer Opportunities. Both of them had top experts from across domains, from industry to regulators, talking about current developments in their respective fields and shared their experiences with the delegates.

Some of the highlights of the scientific session were :

Dr. M Venkateshwarlu Memorial Award Lecture on ?Bioequivalence :Assuring Drug Product Quality And Therapeutic Interchangeability?, by Dr. Kamal Midha, Ex-President of FIP, wherein he shared his vast experience in the field of bioequivalence research with specific examples.

CEO?s Panel Discussion on the theme of the Convention ? which brought together opinions and viewpoints of distinguished personalities including Nandan Chandavarkar (FDC) , Aditi Kare Panandikar (Indoco Remedies) , and Dr. Shailesh Ayyangar (M.D., Sanofi Aventis) who shared views and debated on issues affecting both multinational and indigenous pharmaceutical business like mergers and collaborations, compulsory licensing and affordable healthcare.

MHRA Symposium ? in which 4 speakers from MHRA precisely delivered talks giving an overview of MHRA, licensing of medicines in EU, registration fees and regulatory requirements for export to the UK., MHRA Inspections in India, and how to do business in India, followed by answering question and answers. MHRA Consultant, Dr. Ludka Fyles spoke about the changing business environment in the UK with an increased focus on over the counter products.

There was a also a session devoted to the role of technology in packaging since serialization has become mandatory for the pharmaceutical business in recent times.

On the sidelines of the Convention, as a satellite activity, a Drug Regulators Workshop was also held at Vivanta by Taj. Ten Drugs Controllers from various Indian States along with Shri P. B. Prasad, Dy. Drugs Controller ( I), CDSCO (SZ),The MHRA Team and U S FDA team, and the Drug Officers of FDA-Goa participated in the workshop. The workshop was aimed at interaction between the Indian Regulators and the overseas Regulators viz. the MHRA, U.K and US FDA on the theme of the IPA convention 2013.

Dr. H.G Khoshia , Commissioner, Food and Drugs Control Administration, Gujarat, chaired the session and made the opening remarks on behalf of Indian Regulators. Shri Salim Veljee, Director FDA Goa and the chairman of the LOC of IPA Convention 2013 made the introductory remarks.

Thereafter, all the State Drugs Controllers expressed their views on the challenges faced by them as Drug Regulators in their respective State. The main challenge which was faced by most of the States was shortage of Technically Trained man power and the information/ training regards the latest regulatory developments, globally.

Shri. Mahesh Zagade, IAS, Commissioner, FDA, Maharashtra State expressed that harmonization of drug laws in India already exists by way of Drugs & Cosmetic Act and Rules there under , and suggested that a Forum of Drugs Regulators can be formed and the issues related to uniform implementation of the Drugs & Cosmetics Act and Rules can be sorted out at this forum, and the states who are stronger in certain aspects of drugs control can share their expertise with the other states. The function was compered by Mrs. Jyoti Sardesai, Dy. Director , FDA, Goa.

An impressive Exhibition was also part of the Convention with stalls put up by leading suppliers including Associated Capsules, Shimadzu Analytics and Schott Kaisha Private Limited.

Both the scientific tracks were overall well attended and there was scope for a lot of networking. It was an immense opportunity for pharmaceutical professionals across the country to interact and update themselves with knowledge from distinguished people in the profession.
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