IIHMR University’s Pharma Conclave 2021: Experts discuss next level innovations

Leading experts from India discussed the way forward in Genomics, Gene Editing, Artificial Intelligence, and Understanding the Biology of Ageing at the conclave

New Delhi: IIHMR University, Jaipur recently organized Pharma Conclave 2021 that focused on ‘Innovations in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Management’. The conclave was an interaction between the industry and academia.
Dr. SD Gupta, Trustee Secretary, IIHMR University, Chief Guest, Mr. Sudarshan Jain, Secretary General, Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance; Former MD, Abbott Healthcare, and Dr. P R Sodani, President, IIHMR University were the eminent speakers.
Dr. Saurabh Kumar, Dean School of Pharmaceutical Management, IIHMR University said, “The whole world is facing an unprecedented situation of COVID pandemic, and it is becoming imperative that we should develop the future road map so that we can prepare us for combatting a pandemic of this magnitude. Taking into consideration this conclave has been planned to bring together the academia and the industry to deliberate on the idea that how innovation and good management practices can be embedded in the areas of Pharmaceutical Sciences. The students attending the conclave will get an opportunity to interact with industry experts, senior pharma alumni and will receive insights in the areas of Pharmaceutical Marketing, Supply Chain Management, Brand Management, Pharmaceutical Consulting and Pharma Regulations.”
Dr. P.R Sodani, President, IIHMR University said, “The Pharma Conclave 2021 has been planned to discuss and deliberate on the innovation in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Management. We all know Pharmaceutical is the only industry during the time of COVID-19 which saved lives of people. The Indian Pharmaceutical industry has played a very critical role during this pandemic by coming up with lot of innovations. Despite COVID-19 being a public health challenge, the Pharmaceutical Industry has been providing a lot of insights and innovations like drug innovations in terms of technological innovations. This Conclave will be extremely useful for those who would like to pursue their careers in the Pharmaceutical Industry”.
Chief Guest at the Pharma Conclave 2021, Sudarshan Jain, Secretary General, Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance; Former MD, Abbott Healthcare congratulated IIHMR University for selecting an interesting theme. He said, “COVID-19 has impacted and affected all of us. The second wave has been a huge challenge and I personally appreciate the outstanding contributions of all the colleagues of the Pharmaceutical Industry in this time of crisis.Even during the time of the pandemic, India has been able to maintain the supply of pharmaceuticals around the world. Covid crisis is the next opportunity and the next decade will be the decade for healthcare. The Pharmaceutical and Healthcare industry on the whole have made tremendous contributions in increasing the average life expectancy of an individual. Overall Pharmaceutical Industry has made significant contribution in vaccines, antibiotics, health and hygiene and IIHMR University is an institution which has driven the healthcare and innovation to the next level.”
Jain further added that, “The Pharmaceutical industry has made progressions on bringing in vaccines for COVID-19, there has been a recent discovery of a drug for Alzheimer’s and even Obesity. There has been innovations around the world on Genomics, Artificial Intelligence, Gene Editing, Better Diagnostics, Biology of Ageing and technology will expedite the process of these innovations. Management Innovations, R&D, Drug Development, Skills and areas of biologicals would create tremendous career opportunities.”
Dr. S.D Gupta, Chairperson and Trustee Secretary, IIHMR University said, “The decade of 2020 to 2030 will be a decade of public health because of the rise in disease burden, change in age structure and change of disease pattern to non-communicable diseases. The most important challenge is how to reach out to people and offer them access to quality healthcare at an affordable cost. Another challenge is the third wave which is anticipated and this could be transmitted also to animals. We need effective management of healthcare and, effective management of medication and pharmaceutical supplies. Building Human Resource in the Pharmaceutical Industry is important. There are multiple opportunities in R&D, Effective Management of product and its delivery all over the world. IIHMR University has produced over 4000 management graduates all over the world in various areas of consulting, research, Pharma sector.”
Panel 1 that focused on ‘Challenges and Future Innovative Strategies for the Pharmaceutical Industry in the Covid Era’ had experts shared their views.
Gagan Bharadwaj, Senior Vice President – Supply Chain, Intas Pharmaceuticals Ltd. shared, “The most important challenge across the globe was managing supply chain amidst COVID-19 in the Pharma sector. Cold Chain of vaccines has been a challenge for India whether these are imported or are transported within the country. The most important aspect that one needs to know before being jabbed is whether the temperature of the vaccine been maintained while it is brought from the Manufacturer to a distributor and from the distributing centre to the vaccination centre. There is a whole lot of automation that is being done on temperature monitoring systems. India needs to plan on vaccine wastages and also manage the demand and supply of these vaccines.”
Vivek Rathod, Senior Manager, Eversana Consulting said, “COVID-19 definitely has offered a new ray of hope for those in the consulting industry to work remotely and changeover the outlay by bringing in a paradigm shift in the mind-set of the people. Pharma consulting has tremendous opportunities as Business analysts, Knowledge management associates in Analytics, Forecasting and competitive intelligence.
Dr. Tanveer Naved, Joint Head, Amity Institute of Pharmacy, Amity University said, “Academics have undergone a paradigm shift right from continuity to offering quality education. One area that students can look up is Pharmacovigilance. Herbal industry which runs parallel to the Allopathic industry can be explored by students. Students can also look at opportunities in online Pharmacy industry. Pharmaceutical Management can be pursued by students such as MBA Pharmaceutical Management, MBA Health and Hospital Management should be looked up by students.”
Panel-2 focused on ‘Current Trends in Domestic and International Pharmaceutical Market’ had experts shared their views
Pramod Kumar Rajput, Vertical Head and Senior Vice President, Cadila Pharmaceutical Limited chaired the session said, “Students must focus on the Goal, Roadmap and the Perseverance to achieve the goals. Students must keep an open perspective and look for areas that have not been explored.”
Dinesh Pandey, Head Analytics, Pharma Ace said, “Pharma value chain starts with the pre-clinical, clinical trials and launching the drugs and taking the drugs to different phases. There are multiple stakeholders in the Pharma value chain. COVID-19 has deeply impacted the way the whole Pharmaceutical industry functions. There were many challenges pertaining to people not willing to participate in the clinical trials. Here USA had smoothened the processes of such trails bringing in a shift in the whole process.”
Anand Namdeo, Brand Manager, Boehringer Ingelheim, said, “Managing megabrands is a huge task as they hold a huge value in terms of the value, volume and in terms of prescriptions. These brands hold a huge brand equity in the market. Managing these brands in terms of sustaining or consolidating their market share or maintaining a high share of voice would require a focused approach. This requires numerous stakeholders across the value chain right from healthcare providers, paramedic staff, patient healthcare givers and channel partners where one needs to understand the market challenges.”
Priyank V. Thakkar, Co-founder, UP Pharmaceuticals also an Entrepreneur speaking on the medical device industry said, “The medical device industry in India is dependent on Korea and Japan for technology for semi-finished products that is a huge challenge. The biggest hurdle as an Indian company trying to export its product is the cost parameter as we need to be competitive enough. There have been various challenges such as the supply chain management, planning and the lack of availability of raw-materials within the country itself. Thus time management and supply chain management would help reduce the hindrance as a start-up.”
Parul Thakur, Manager Operations, Aster Medcity spoke on how to launch inventions and patent them. She said, “The process of patenting the whole process takes time. The whole process must be smoothened and shortened allowing the inventor of the product to market the same and also launch it in the market well on time.”