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65th IPC begins with call for improving quality standards of pharmacy education

Joseph Alexander, New Delhi
Friday, December 20, 2013, 16:15 Hrs  [IST]

The 65th edition of the three-day Indian Pharmaceutical Congress (IPC) began at Amity University, Noida near here today, with a fervent call to improve the quality of standards in pharmacy education, in tune with the emerging scope and industry needs.

Speaking at the inaugural function of the IPC, Secretary to the Department of Health Research Dr V M Katoch asked the pharmacists to reach out to the masses to make them aware of the significance of pharmacy profession. He also called for setting own benchmarks to the improve the quality of pharmacy profession.

“You have a big constituency. But unfortunately, it does not recognize you. It is time that you reach out to the community and create awareness and thereby empower yourself,” he said, referring to IPC theme “Pharma Vision 2020: Empowering pharmacists”.

Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) Dr G N Singh said the Government would take note of the issues and points raised at the three-day event. He said the pharmacists were playing a key role in the industry and regulatory mechanism.

“After IT, the pharma industry has the most potential to bring in foreign exchange,” he said, while calling upon the organisers to restructure the IPC.  “We should think whether it should be held every year and whether it adds to our science base,” he suggested.

Over 4000 delegates are attending the event, being organized by the Indian Pharmaceutical Congress Association (IPCA), which is a federation of five leading organizations like Indian Pharmaceutical Association (IPA), Indian Pharmacy Graduates Association (IPGA), Indian Hospital Pharmacists Association (IHPA), Association of Pharmaceutical teachers of India (APTI) and All India Drug Control Officers’ Association (AIDCOC). IPGA is the host association when the event comes back to Delhi for the eight time.

The theme of the conference is “Pharma Vision 2020: Empowering Pharmacists” and the recommendations of the meet will be codified and sent to all relevant ministries and authorities after discussing different issues regarding the pharmacy practice and pharma industry.

In his presidential address, IPCA president A K Nasa strongly called for leaving the entire control of pharmacy education only to the Pharmacy Council of India, instead of having AICTE also as another authority for approvals. There are 1500 colleges and over one lakh pharmacy professionals come out every year, he pointed out.

He asked the regulatory authorities to bring in necessary changes to the Drugs and Cosmetic Act, 1940 and Rules 1945. One of the amendments being suggested is the rule 64. “The Qualification for the post of competent person in the Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940 & Rules 1945 for obtaining whole sale drug license by C&F Agents, wholesale distributors, stockiest, sub-stockiest etc. may be amended and qualification should be only a Registered Pharmacist in place of matriculation, intermediate, graduation or any other non - pharmacy qualification”,  he said.

Prominent speakers, numbering over 75, will include luminaries from nine countries including USA, UK, Canada, Switzerland, Australia, UAE and Netherlands. IPCA presidential symposium, three memorial lectures, 11 symposia, 13 plenary lectures and two panel discussions are being held as part of the event. The plenary lectures will cover various aspects of pharma industry, education, research, health and practices, while the symposiums will focus on different topics related to pharmacy profession and around the central theme.

The Pharmaceutical expo, being organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) alongside the event also got to a brisk start with long stream of visitors on the first day itself. The expo, focusing on pharma plant and machinery, is having around 200 exhibitors, including 15 companies from Germany, USA, Korea, Japan, China and Switzerland.


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