Mumbai, Maharashtra, India: Focusing on redefining pharma research in a digitized world, this edition of the Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India’s (OPPI) Annual Summit witnessed the participation of leading experts from the government and pharma industry. The event took place virtually on the 23rd and 24th of March 2022 wherein Ministers, Government officials, Global and local industry leaders, scientists, HCPs, policymakers and academicians deliberated and discussed the strategies to strengthen the pharmaceutical industry in India.With Accenture as the knowledge partner, the summit also saw the launch of two important reports- Multi-Regional Clinical Trials (MRCT) and Value of OTC in India. While the former explores possibilities to improve access to newer therapeutics, technologies, and diagnostics to Indian patients, evolving regulatory pathways by maximizing on the digital approach and how multi-regional clinical trials can address this challenge with promising outcomes, the latter reflects and elaborates on the current regulations concerning OTC in the country and how we can collectively unlock optimum economic value for both patients and the country at-large.
The Chief Guest for the Summit, Shri. Bhagawanth Khuba, (Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers and New & Renewable Energy, Government of India), lauded India’s and OPPI’s efforts during the pandemic and highlighted the importance of digitization in the pharmaceutical industry and the need for strong regulatory approvals to speed up research on new biologics and generics in India. He spoke about making the Indian pharmaceutical industry a $130bn by 2030, by strengthening industry-academia collaborations and upgrading the education curriculum to build a good academic base for the next generation of scientists.
Discussing the theme of the event, S Sridhar, President, OPPI said, “The pharma and healthcare ecosystem has seen significant disruption since the onset of the pandemic however, despite the pandemic-induced disruption, the industry has displayed immense resilience to innovate for better and more effective solutions for COVID-19 while simultaneously encouraging capacity building to export drugs and vaccines for other ailments too. The OPPI Annual Summit builds on the relevance of innovation and the rapid digitization in the healthcare and pharma sector with the aim to bring together various stakeholders to map a way forward for the pharmaceutical industry.”
In addition, Ms. S. Aparna, Secretary, Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Industry Government of India highlighted the draft R&D policy which looks to simplify the regulatory landscape and encourages research based Public-Private-Partnership. In addition, leading experts like Dr. Randeep Guleria, Director, AIIMS, New Delhi and Dr. Renu Swarup, Former Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India highlighted the need for a forward-looking approach and the required preparedness for emerging healthcare challenges in India. Both emphasized three critical elements – capacity building for manpower and infrastructure, cutting-edge technologies, and national and international collaborations to scale-up innovation.
Commenting on the event, KG Ananthakrishnan, Director-General, OPPI said, “We all have witnessed a paradigm shift with the COVID-19 pandemic and while the response was quick, it has shown that we need a future-ready model of disease surveillance and care for our people. The OPPI Annual Summit outlined how digitization has become integral to innovation and R&D and has been in full play in recent years. This move to digitize the country’s health care delivery system paves the way for a new era of opportunities with digitization being leveraged across the value chain- drug innovation, diagnostics, and disease management.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for research, innovation, and developing science-based innovations locally, by driving an impetus on the journey from ‘Make to Discover to Innovate in India’. OPPI recognized the contributions of industry stalwarts and marquee experts in the field of research and innovation. Dr. Cyrus S. Poonawalla, Chairman and MD, Serum Institute of India was felicitated with Lifetime Achievement Award; Special Recognition Awards were given to Dr. Randeep Guleria, Director, AIIMS, New Delhi, and the Indian Medical Association. In addition to its Scientist of the Year Awards, OPPI also introduced two new award categories this year; namely Excellence in Innovation Healthcare Start-up of the Year 2021 Award and the OPPI-QCI Quality Award for Excellent Facility, 2022, keeping in mind the importance to innovation and quality that should form the foundation of the industry going forward.
The 2-day event ended with some interesting takeaways from all the eminent speakers and panelists furthering the conversations to aid discovery, innovation, and R&D for the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry.
The Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI) established in 1965, represents the research-based pharmaceutical companies in India. OPPI remains committed to supporting the nation’s healthcare objectives and collaborating with all stakeholders to find sustainable solutions. OPPI believes the need for innovation must be balanced with the necessity for more accessible medicines, within a robust IP environment. For more information, please visit https://www.indiaoppi.com/