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.
The Consortium of Indian Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Marketers Association (CIPMMA) has elected new office-bearers for the period 2014-2016 at their annual general body meeting held in Kodaikanal last week.
S Gopalakrishnan from Casid Pharma, Trichy is the new chairman of the organisation and M Ramaswami from Nano Syn Organics Private Ltd, Trichy is the president.
The AGM has elected 35-member executive committee and a seven-member apex body comprising the old office-bearers. The new office bearers will also attend the apex body meeting, said S Gopalakrishnan, chairman of CIPMMA.
Later while speaking to Pharmabiz, the chairman said his organisation would strive towards expanding the footprints of CIPMMA in the neighboring states of Kerala and Karnataka in the coming months. By the end of this year, the marketers association will have organisational units in all the revenue districts in Tamil Nadu.
The president Ramaswami said at present CIPMMA has presence in seven districts in Tamil Nadu and a membership strength of 300 marketers. It will be increased to 500 by next year. Two district units, in Dharmapuri and in Salem, will be inaugurated next month.
The AGM held in Kodaikanal was attended by manufacturers from Pondicherry. Several of the manufacturers in the union territory are members of CIPMMA. Next annual general body meeting will be held in Trichy in June 2015.
The former chairman Karunai Kadal and president A Kannan are among the apex body members.
On the lines of Neethi Medical stores started by Kerala government under cooperative sector in 2012, the cooperative department under Tamil Nadu government has started ‘Amma Pharmacies’ to supply branded medicines to the public at concessional rates.
With this Tamil Nadu has become the second state in the country to start pharmacy retail outlets in the cooperative sector and the fourth one to commence dispensing stores in government sector exclusively for sale of drugs with low trade margin.
The initiative for sale of drugs on discounted rates started for the first time in India in Chitodgarh district in Rajasthan by the district collector in 2011, followed by Andhra Pradesh Medical Services Corporation started Jeevandhara Pharmacies for selling generic drugs on discounted rates. In February 2012, Kerala Medical Services Corporation (KMSCL) started Karunya Community Pharmacies to sell branded drugs on a marginal discount of 20 to 60 per cent to MRP.
The Amma cooperative pharmacies in Tamil Nadu will provide branded prescription drugs on 10 to 15 per cent discounts to the public, The chief minister inaugurated ten such retail outlets in the state on June 26, and ninety more will be opened shortly in various places where community pharmacies are small in numbers, sources informed.
Regarding procurement of drugs, sources said the cooperative department will directly purchase drugs in bulk from the manufacturing companies, so that it can sell the drugs on marginal discounts.
The cooperative department in Tamil Nadu is already running cooperative medical shops for the last 42 years and the outlets are functioning at the cooperative super markets. These cooperative medical shops stock all kinds of drugs and dispense the medicines at concessional prices. The medicines sold through these outlets do not have any sales tax and most of these shops are functioning round the clock throughout the year.
Scientific evidence to prove the physical and chemical nature of the medicinal formulations is essential to develop and preserve the traditional medicines, especially Siddha drugs.
The evidences will provide proper scientific validation and significance to the fundamental principles of Siddha with special emphasise on the preparations like sindhooram, choornam, parpams (powder forms) etc, according to Dr. I G. Shibi, research officer at the department of chemistry, SN College at Chempazhanthi, Thiruvananthapuram.
Dr Shibi was presenting a paper on the subject ‘physico-chemical understanding of mineral based Siddha medicine’ at the Siddha physicians seminar at the Kerala capital organised by Central Council of Research in Siddha.
She said the material medica of Siddha system of medicine largely depends on drugs which are of metal and mineral origin and includes 11 types of metals, 25 varieties of salts, 64 numbers of mercurial, arsenical and sulphur compounds, and 120 kinds of minerals. So a scientific study of the Siddha formulations will be able to provide the scientific validations.
“The traditional system of sindhooram preparations involves grinding and calcinations of the materials several times. The various temperatures at which different stages of decompositions take place are never monitored scientifically in the traditional method. The chemical nature of the products formed at each stage of thermal decomposition is never understood in the traditional method. The effect of various gaseous atmospheres in the chemical changes occurring during the treatment and thermal decompositions of the materials is important,” she said while presenting the paper.
Further, the materials at different stages of preparations of a medicine are to be characterised by thermal, spectroscopic, diffraction, electron micrographic studies etc. Many features like surface area, porosity, pH point of zero charge, density, particle size etc are to be understood by proper methods.
According to her, the phyto-chemicals present in the plants used in the preparations of Siddha formulations are of interest to find new leads for treating different diseases. This chemical and therapeutic diversity of these compounds are widely viewed as a source of templates for structure optimisation programs designed to make new leads. Genuine attempts to link and apply modern branches of knowledge such as computer aided drug design, cheminformatics, artificial intelligence etc for rational drug development is imperative. Modern insilico methods are needed to ascertain the therapeutic effect and also to evaluate the druggability of these phytochemicals.
Amplifon India Pvt Limited, one of the leading hearing care solutions service providers, has increased its footprint pan India and marked a landmark through 100 clinics.
Amplifon, which commenced its India operations in April 2010, has established its presence in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala.
Samit Verma, chief executive officer, Amplifon India, said the company was providing the state-of-the-art hearing caring solutions. “There are 360 million people in the world who suffers from disabling hearing loss, i.e 5.3 per cent of the world’s population, out of which 32 million are children,” he said.
A gradual hearing loss can often make people feel isolated as they find it difficult to carry on conversations with family or friends. It can make us isolated and withdraw from social interactions. Importantly, it can also increase risk both at home and at the workplace, for example, not hearing a warning alarm, he said in a release.
The company is committed to improve the hearing capabilities through excellence in client care, treating hearing loss and, where appropriate, hearing care solutions provider in worldwide. The brand is entrusted with providing the best customized hearing care solutions to every patient. Where appropriate, patients are also provided with ‘test drive’ of different technology and if the patient decides to go ahead, trials of hearing care solutions services are offered with full satisfaction guarantees, he added.