Delivering the special address at the Certificate Awarding Ceremony, Apollo Hospitals Group Managing Director, Preetha Reddy, said, “Drug development is a huge industry that is growing by leaps and bounds. Today, it is valued at $3 billion and it has tremendous potential to double and triple in the next few years.”

Developed countries were planning to set up clinical research centres in India not due to cheap labour cost but due to availability of high intellectual capability, he said.

In the Chief Guest's address, Quintiles Research (India) Pvt. Ltd., CEO, Ferzaan Engineer, said that pharma sector grew by 12 per cent in India while the world market grew by 4.5 per cent. India has been ranked 13th or 14th in value terms and it would become the 10th largest by 2020.

Distributing the merit certificates and books to the top rank-holders, Mr. Jawahar said, “Training programmes like these are important to ensure that the industry gets the kind of skilled manpower it needs in specialised areas to expand and be globally competitive. This programme will soon set the standards and become the benchmark for such training programs in clinical research in our country.”

Apollo Hospitals Educational and Research Foundation (AHERF) vice chairperson, Ranjit Roy Choudhary said the course acted as a bridge between the corporate sector and educational institutions. It has been proposed to increase the number of seats and churn out 200 postgraduates every year.

The courses would be offered in Ahmadabad and Kolkata too.

Offered by Anna University-K.B. Chandrasekhar Research Centre and Apollo Hospitals Educational and Research Foundation, ACC-CTM is a one-year full time programme with over 1,500 contact hours. Currently, the second batch of students had completed onsite training and started internship.

ACC-CTM involves four months of theory classes held at the Anna University-KBC Research Centre, MIT Campus; two months of onsite practical classes held at AHERF, Chennai, and six months internship at one of the Apollo Hospital trial sites.

The primary aim and scope of the course was to make the candidate employable as Clinical Research Associates, Clinical Research Co-ordinates in pharma companies, CRO firms, support staff for investigators, hospitals, bio-statistical services, regulatory and Drugs Control Agencies, quality assurance and business development etc.