As 2016 comes to an end, I go back to my address at the 50th OPPI Annual General Meeting in which we collectively imagined an India where no child dies of a vaccine-preventable disease; where no new mother suffers or dies from lack of basic care; where every citizen has access to quality healthcare and where we are innovating to discover new drugs and solutions to meet our healthcare challenges. There is a real possibility to collaborate and leverage the huge progress being made in digital technology to achieve healthcare for all.
We are committed to working with Government and all other stakeholders towards realizing our collective vision of putting the patient at the centre of all that we do. To this end, our focus on the four pillars (Innovation; Access to healthcare; Ethical marketing practices and a Strong regulatory regime) continues.
Driving the need for a collaborative approach towards realising the vision of Health for all, we have developed a roadmap to address non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in India; the theme of our Annual Healthcare Summit held in Delhi in August.
In the context of ethics in marketing, the entire pharma industry needs to unite against unethical practices. Government’s proposal to introduce a mandatory Uniform Code for Pharmaceutical Marketing Practices (UCPMP) while dealing with Healthcare Professionals is laudable. We are hopeful that this Code will receive necessary internal approvals within the Government to make it effective.
Quality of medicines produced in India cannot be substandard and in this regard, any pragmatic solutions to safeguard patient safety should be appreciated and welcomed. We welcome Government’s proposal to raise the bar for second and subsequent applicants of a ‘new drug’ to seek the approval from the central drug authority for at least 10 years period. This is a step towards ensuring uniform quality standards. The regulatory amendments passed during the year that helped formulate patient centric and transparent clinical trials guidelines and the plans to upgrade the rules for good manufacturing practices (GMP) are in the interest of patient safety and will help put India on the global research map.
Let us hope that Government will raise the financial outlay for the healthcare sector and will continue to make bold and positive changes in the regulatory regime to ensure that the industry is made strong and robust to serve our patients and those of the world.
Concluding with the lines from John Lennon’s famous song ‘Imagine’
…You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one…
We wish you all a wonderful 2017!
Dr Shailesh Ayyangar
President – OPPI
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