#HealthMeetsHope: OPPI launches digital campain for fresh ideas at its annual summit

OPPI has launched the #ThinkForHealth, a nation-wide digital campaign in partnership with the Government of Telangana. Winning ideas which contribute to building a healthier future will be heard, rewarded and mentored

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(From left to right) Kanchana TK, Director General, OPPI; Dr. V K Paul, Member, NITI Aayog; Prof K. VijayRaghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser, Government of India; Anupriya Patel, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare; A. Vaidheesh, President, OPPI & Vice President, South Asia & Managing Director India, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals; Prof K. VijayRaghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser, Government of India – at the Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI) Annual Summit 2018 were present.

New Delhi: The Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI) in collaboration with the Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and Invest India organized the Annual Summit themed #HealthMeetsHope in Delhi on 13th July.

The Summit witnessed the launch of OPPI’s digital campaign, #ThinkForHealth, a nation-wide campaign calling for ideas to improve access to woman and child health, mental health, NCDs and health-technology, that could pave the way for improved healthcare in India.

The initiative #ThinkForHealth, launched in partnership with the Government of Telangana, will provide a platform for young discerning minds and social and health-tech entrepreneurs to share their ideas on the mentioned topics and the three winning ideas will be given a platform to be heard. The Government of Telangana, which has spearheaded innovations in the life sciences sector through its unique Innovation Policy and ecosystem for incubation, has expressed keenness to extend multi-faceted support to ideas which hold the potential to transform the lives of ordinary people.

As the borders across nations blur, Innovation in healthcare will change the way healthcare is consumed and delivered across the globe. On these lines, Kanchana TK, Director General, OPPI said; “For humanity to progress, health will
continue to be integral to this journey. As we have already stepped into the future of healthcare with biologics, immuno-oncology, personalized medicine, artificial intelligence, blockchain technology for decentralized patient data for better patient outcomes, OPPI and its members are gearing up to the new era of healthcare. With continuous research and development of our members to find new treatments; an ecosystem that promotes innovation and a deep commitment to quality and highest standards of business integrity is imperative so that we can deliver hope to patients in leading healthier and fuller lives. #ThinkForHealth the digital campaign that OPPI together with Government of Telangana has
launched is a fore runner to more such innovative ideas in healthcare. The campaign as it suggests represents the need for thinking and investing about health in a more serious and long- term manner.”

The Government’s announcement of Ayushman Bharat has stirred a nation-wide interest in the subject of healthcare access and universal health coverage. #HealthMeetsHope microsite provides a platform for showcasing several initiatives of the member companies in the areas of woman and child health; mental health; NCDs and health technology that will improve access to healthcare in the country.

Mr A Vaidheesh, President, OPPI and Managing Director- India & Vice President – South Asia, Glaxo SmithKline Pharmaceuticals Ltd. pointed that out saying; “#HealthMeetsHope is an apt theme for the OPPI Annual Summit 2018 in light of the Government’s Ayushman Bharat announcement to cover 50 crore beneficiaries. OPPI and its members have been consistently engaging with Government to ensure that we collaborate to improve access to healthcare in India. The conversations around insurance; need for robust over-the-counter medicines guidelines; stringent quality standards for manufacturing and
highest ethical marketing practices are integral to building a framework for responsible healthcare for India and Indian patients. OPPI and its members are committed towards an Ayushman, Surakshit and Swastha Bharat.”

Commenting on the value of innovation, Minister K T Rama Rao, Hon’ble Minister for IT, Industries, MA & UD, NRI Affairs, said, “Government of Telangana has been committed to promoting innovation and entrepreneurship in the life sciences sector, and has taken many initiatives including setting up of incubators, launching an innovation policy, etc. World-class infrastructure, cluster approach and
availability of manpower continues to attract major Global and Indian Life Sciences companies to the state. The #ThinkforHealth digital campaign of the OPPI in collaboration with Government of Telangana is an initiative that will give further impetus to innovation and consolidate the position of Hyderabad as bio-pharmaceutical innovation hub. As a unique value proposition, Government of Telangana will extend incubation, mentorship and validation support through Industries and Commerce Department, Telangana State Innovation Cell, Research and Innovation Circle of Hyderabad and incubators like T-Hub, CCMB, IIIT-Hyderabad, etc. I urge the innovative minds to please take this opportunity to imagine, innovate and inspire.”

Telangana has emerged as a hub for Lifesciences innovation and Manufacturing, contributing to more than 35% to the national pharmaceutical production of the country and 33% of the global vaccine dosages. Government of Telangana has launched multiple programs like T-Hub, Research and Innovation Circle of Hyderabad, Telangana State Innovation Cell, etc. Mr K. T. Rama Rao is aspiring to make Telangana as the most investor-friendly state by providing the required facilities, and by removing the avoidable delays in any new project launch.
Also present at the Summit was Abhinav Bindra, sports personality and World and Olympic champion. Through his session he highlighted the fact that “Perseverance, whether in sports or in spending years in research and developing a new medicine for better patient outcomes, is no different. As a winner both on
and off the shooting range, I recognise and deeply appreciate the years of research that goes in to making a medicine work and empowering the patient to lead a better life. Today’s research is tomorrow’s hope.”

OPPI recognitions were awarded to three individuals for their outstanding contribution towards improving healthcare access in the country. Dr Duru Shah, Scientific Director of Gynaecworld and the Gynaecworld Assisted Fertility Center was recognized for her contribution towards improving women’s health; Ms Meena Ganesh, CEO and MD Portea Medical was recognized for her outstanding work in
healthcare delivery and Dr Daksha Shah, Deputy executive Health Officer-TB, City TB officer Mumbai for her commitment towards improving healthcare access in India.

Some recommendations from the discussions of the Summit are: Inclusiveness in Ayushman Bharat and open participation by industry and relevant stakeholders
in driving access and universal health coverage for all. Need to promote an ecosystem that recognizes innovation, promotes innovation and rewards
innovation; The critical role of the industry in bringing the future medicines to address the unmet medical needs of the millions of patients across the globe. The intrinsic value of quality that makes a pill more than just a pill and the need to adhere to quality standards in the best interest of the patient.