'Country needs to carve a niche in drug development'

Addl knowledge needed make a mark in pharma industry

Unless the country carves a niche for itself in drug development, it would lose out on the pharmaceutical industry, said Semler Research Centre chief scientific officer Dr Suresh Venkataram.

He was speaking at the inauguration of a two-day seminar on emerging trends, challenges and future perspectives in dissolution testing organised by JSS College of Pharmacy here on Tuesday.
Discussing the existing trend in the pharma sector, Dr Venkataram said, “Few companies are conducting research in areas of drug development and others will follow soon.”

Reverse engineering has to happen as US law allows generic drug industry to thrive as it has to cater to a huge population, which can’t afford expensive drugs.

But, the country is a strong player in generic drug market and we produce a huge volume of pharmaceutical products. But value of the produced pharma products in the global market is less.

He said, “In USA, majority of the innovation happens in academia as they have better infrastructure as compared to private companies.” He expressed optimism that such a trend would take place in the country too.

JSS University vice-chancellor Dr B Suresh said that along with regular qualifications, students need to have additional knowledge in order to make a mark in the pharmaceutical industry. With the increasing number of pharmacy colleges, the industry would focus on graduates with knowledge about various other aspects such as regulatory affair and herbal drugs. He said JSS University was offering PG diploma courses in such subjects allowing M Pharma students to get an additional degree while they are pursuing their post graduation. Mentioning that competition was increasing in the pharma sector, he said global market leaders are now setting foot in the country putting pressure on small and medium scale enterprises.

Electrolab managing director Aditya M, International Pharmaceutical Federation scientific secretary Dr Vinod P Shah, JSS College of Pharmacy principal Dr H G Shivakumar, head of pharmaceutics department Dr P K Kulkarni and others were present.

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