Anguished over manufacture of spurious drugs and unethical practices in the Pharmaceutical industry, President Pratibha Patil today said there was need for the industry and health care organisations to ensure quality and safety of medicines.

“It is the responsibility of every health care provider and health care organisation to ensure that quality and safety of medicines are not compromised. There are instances of spurious drugs, which are harmful, being produced. This is a crime and an unethical practice,” she said.

Patil was speaking after inaugurating the 71st World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences organised here by International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) and Indian Pharmaceutical Association.

“It should not be left to the Government alone to identify such unscrupulous producers. The industry must also have a wing to find out such practices and bring it to the notice of the Government,” she said.

The President said about 50 per cent of drugs worldwide are prescribed, dispensed, or sold “inappropriately” which becomes a major reason for health complications and called for efforts from the industry to curb the misuse.

Patil said the Indian pharmaceutical industry is expected to become a USD 20 billion industry by 2015, from its present turnover of USD 12 billion.

She said though medical science has made tremendous progress, “it is a matter of concern that a very large part of the world population, mostly in developing countries, has inadequate or no access to health care or essential medicines at affordable cost.”

Patil said there was need for all developing countries to work closely for addressing health care issues and meet the Millennium Development Goals.

The President said the industry and experts must figure out how to provide access to health care and essential good quality medicines for all at a reasonable cost.

She said there are ample opportunities in the sector for public-private partnership for achieving the mission to extend the coverage of health care, particularly amongst urban poor and rural areas.

Patil also said India has much to offer to the world in terms of alternative medicines and the government should tap available resources and draw on indigenous knowledge of medicine.

She said Indian Pharma industry is already the third largest in the world by volume and Indian companies have an extensive presence across the globe.

Indian generic drugs have helped in bringing down the cost of treatment of various diseases world-wide, which includes HIV/AIDS, and “our pharmaceutical products are known to be of good quality, safety and efficacy,” she said.

The President suggested that the conference should focus on creating access to affordable, quality medicines within a sound regulatory environment.

The President left for New Delhi from the Begumpet airport here at around 1.30 pm after inaugurating the event.

Andhra Pradesh Governor ESL Narasimhan, Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, Deputy Chief Minister C Damodar Rajanarasimha, Ministers D K Aruna, Danam Nagender and Mukesh Goud were present at the airport.

Chief Secretary S V Prasad, Hyderabad Police Commissioner A K Khan and representatives of Armed Forces were also present there.

The five-day World Congress of Pharmacy would cover different aspects of pharmacy and pharmaceuticals sciences, like FIP Academic Pharmacy, Clinical Biology, Community Pharmacy, Hospital Pharmacy, Industrial Pharmacy, Pharmacy Information and FIP Social Administrative Pharmacy.

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