With a strategic vision to safeguard the entire population of the state from all kinds of infectious diseases and other ailments, the government of Tamil Nadu is moving ahead with several significant projects and programs on health and pharmacy areas.
The Vision 2023 of the government envisages Tamil Nadu to become a ‘disease-free state’ in another six years, and escalate it into the level of developed countries of the world in the areas of health and pharmacy, according to Dr J Radhakrishnan, secretary for health and family welfare, government of Tamil Nadu.
In last December, when the state faced the worst flood, the department of health had initiated prompt and adequate preventive and control measures to encounter any kind of out-break of infectious diseases. The health secretary recollected the services provided by the Tamil Nadu pharmaceutical industry during the period by supporting the government’s initiatives with a contribution of medicines and other healthcare items worth rupees more than one crore to save the population from the risk of infection and transmission of water-borne diseases.
While delivering a lecture as the chief guest of the function at the Silver Jubilee celebration of the Tamil Nadu Pharmaceutical Sciences Welfare Trust (TNPWT) in Chennai, Dr Radhakrishnan said the pharma industry in the state must give more focus on innovations and invention of new drugs. The government is working out new strategies for innovation and priority is for innovation in biotechnology. The government has special programmes and policies for biotechnology.
He said Tamil Nadu has the highest number of medical colleges in India and the number of ‘Women and Children Hospitals’ in the state is also the highest in the country. The Madras Medical College and the attached Rajiv Gandhi Memorial General Hospital has the credit for the highest number of out-patients and in-patients. The Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation ensures ready availability of all essential medicines every time and it has a good stock of drugs for all influenza.
Saying that the government is committed to keep all the people of the state hale and hearty and protect them from epidemics, he said the state requires more antibiotics, and newer medicines for Parkinson’s disease and cancer. He said once the national vaccine park near Chennai starts operation, the state can become the supplier of vaccines besides medicines and it can cater to the needs of other states.
He said the state government has identified 800 acres of land in Thiruvallur district for setting up a ‘bulk drug park’ and the project is being worked out in consultation with the union government.
Addressing the pharmacist community, the former secretary of the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP), government of India, Dr V K Subburaju said the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) should encourage the pharmacy colleges in the country to become research institutes like NIPERs. From the academic level the pharmacy students must be inculcated flair of research and the students must pursue researches. He said though India is claiming that it is the ‘pharmacy of the world’, the country contributes only 3% of the global supply. It has to be increased to 30% for which the government should support the pharma industry.
Dr B Suresh, president of the Pharmacy Council of India, was also one of the chief guests at the function. He said more thrust is required for raising the entrepreneurship level of the pharma professionals in Tamil Nadu. While appreciating the efforts taken by the TNPWT for the promotion of pharmacy profession, he said the Trust should give more emphasize to make the pharmacy students become entrepreneurs.
IDMA president SV Veeramani presided over the event. Special address was given by Dr Shylesh Ayyangar, managing director of Sanofi India Ltd and president of OPPI. J Jayaseelan, MM Yusuf, S Abdul Khader, Dr S Manivannan, R Thiruvankadam and Swapna Sunder also spoke in the event.