India’s globally recognized and leading healthcare research institution of the country, The IIHMR University, in response to the requirement of Pharmaceutical Industry and the recent development in Pharma Education conducted a National Symposium on-‘Industry-Academia Interaction’. The symposium was in association with Indian Pharmaceutical Association (IPA- Delhi Branch), to discuss the ‘Perspective in Pharma Industry: Response of Pharma education’. The occasion was graced by Dr. G.N Singh, Drugs Controller General of India and Prof. Roop K. Khar, President IPA (Delhi Branch) who addressed the opening remarks. The dignitaries from the industry such as Dr. Praveen Khullar, Sr. Director, Sanofi Synthelabo, Goa, Mr. Bijendra Vats, Director Human-Resource, MSD, India, Mr. Vivek Padgaonkar, Director (Projects and Policy) OPPI, Mumbai, Mr. Prafull Sheth of SEAR Pharm Forum, Vice President, International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) and Mr. Atul Nasa, President of Indian Pharaceutical Graduates Association (IPGA) along with other faculties and President Dr. SD Gupta, from IIHMR University.
According to the India Skills report 2016, in 2015 about 40.62% of B.Pharm candidates, 35.24 B.Sc and 20.58% B.com candidates have been employable out of which Delhi topped the list of cities which showed maximum employability. As per the report the domain wise hiring graph shows in 2016 about 21.05% candidates will be hired in the Pharma and Healthcare Sector for Management positions.
Dr. SD Gupta, President, IIHMR University said, “According to the India Skills Report 2016, out of the total Indian population of 1.3 billion, 0.8 billion are in the working age today and by 2022, India will have the largest youth population which makes the country, the youngest on the Globe. Also, the Indian Pharmaceutical Industry ranks 3rd in volume and 13th in value across the globe where the industry is likely to create over 1.30 lakh jobs in 2016 itself. 21.05% candidates will be hired in the Pharma and Healthcare Sector for Management positions in 2016- India Skills Report. According to CII, India has around 300 large and 8000 small and medium scale Pharma units at present with over 20,000 manufacturers in both organized and unorganized segments. The Pharmaceutical industry ranks 3rd in volume and 13th in value across the globe and has a market size of Rs. 2, 52,000 crore as on 2016.”
The India Pharma Industry has 77% formulation manufacturers and 23% bulk drug manufacturers with 169 FDA (US) approved plants and 153 EDQM (European directorate for Quality (EU)approved facilities at present. There is a rise in the need for vaccines due to an increase in the sedentary lifestyle giving a rise to chronic lifestyle diseases, which will become dominant in the next 5-10 years.
Chief Guest Dr. G.N Singh, Drugs Controller General of India said, “India is today supplying medicines to 220 nations. 40 percent of the drugs manufactured are indigenously consumed, 60 percent of the drugs are exported. As the country’s regulator we continue to face a lot of problems which can be solved by technology. Firstly, we need to ensure that the quality of the service and of the personnel remains the same. Secondly, we need the students to be a part of the changes in the global health sector which can be done by providing globally recognized training and education. I am sure a prestigious institution like IIHMR will play an important role in this regard”.
Prof. Roop K. Khar, President IPA (Delhi Branch) said, “Today there lays a gap between the training the students receive and the practical application of the skills required in the pharmaceutical industry. I have identified 5 key problems that need urgent attention. First we need to connect the theory taught in class to the practical application of the same in the pharmaceutical industry. Application of basic pharmaceutical concept is missing which is a great cause of concern. Second, there is also a lack of critical enquiry among students which is due to the absence of clarity of thought and independent thinking. Third, entrepreneurial thinking has to be encouraged to promote creativity and imagination. Fourth, Absenteeism of teachers and students must be checked. Finally multi and cross disciplinary approach must be adopted which will help in laying the foundation for the future of the pharmaceutical industry”
Across India, the percentage increase in hiring numbers for Pharma and Healthcare have been 25% and above, where the 59% positions are occupied by males and 41% by females (India Skills Report 2016). According to ‘Makeinindia.com’, the Indian Market is the world’s 6th largest pahrama market and will be the 3rd largest market by 2020, the generics market is expected to grow to USD 26.1 Billion by 2016 from USD 11.3 Billion in 2011, it is also expected to reach USD 6.6 billion Indian over-the-counter drug market by 2016, will have a planned infrastructure investment of USD 200 billion by 2024 and will have 100% FDI allowed for medical devices. All these factors are bound to increase the need of Pharmaceutical professionals in the country.
There are various growth factors in the Pharmaceutical industry. Steady population growth which is growing at 1%, there is a growing affordability of drugs, increase in insurance coverage in India, sustained growth in incomes and expansion of drug accessibility due to the growth in medical infrastructure. The expected growth of vaccines will be at 20% the next decade with the rise in the patients suffering from diseases such as Hepatitis. All these contribute to the growth of the industry and in turn increase the need for talent. One can also notice that with the growing Pharmaceutical sector, Pharma Education has also improved leaps and bounds in the country. There are about 498 Diploma, 1029 Degree and 841 Degree Pharma Education Institutes which are AICTE Approved. There are about 717 D. Pharm, 968 B.Pharm and 160 Pharm D. institutes in India.
The Symposium discussed the needs of the Pharamceutical industry and if the right talent is delivered by the academia. To this Dr. SD Gupta said, “A support system is needed to ensure a focused involvement of both academia and industry. Academic institutions should develop systems and procedures to ensure that industry expectations are met without any compromise on academic aspirations. Industry should give a fresh look to its R&D efforts offered by the academia. Industry should begin interacting with researchers at the stage when they are doctoral students through industry based projects. Industry PhD's should be teaching in classes since they bring in real world experiences. Apart from classes, biotech/pharma/healthcare industry needs to be on campus with clear offerings for internships. It is also specializations at the B.Pharm level in Industrial Pharmacy and Community Pharmacy. It is observed that there is a major disconnect in the academia output vis-a-vis industry expectations, hence its is evident that students should be given soft skills training and should be trained for employability. Industries should conduct large scale collaborative projects with the students in research institutions as well. We suggest to the Pharma Academia that students need to be groomed as per their areas of interest at the graduate level.”
The seminar also discussed on topics such as Emerging Managerial Opportunities and Challenges’, ‘Role of Industry-academia collaboration in talent management and readiness for job opportunities’, ‘Expected changes in the Pharma Industry 2016-2020’ etc.