The medical emergency over the past few years due to the COVID-19 pandemic has seen India’s biopharma and diagnostic industry prove to be strategic assets to meet the public health requirement not just domestically but globally, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Friday.
In his video address to the National Summit on Quality of Biologicals, organised here by the National Institute of Biologicals (NIB), the minister said biological drugs have emerged as a choice of therapy along with conventional chemical drugs. The National Institute of Biologicals is playing a vital role in ensuring that only quality biological products reach the health system, thereby strengthening the prime minister’s mission of ensuring quality health and wellness for all, he said.
“The medical emergency over the past few years due to the COVID-19 pandemic has seen our biopharma and diagnostic industry prove to be strategic assets to meet the public health requirement not only of our country but globally, which has given meaning to the statement of universal brotherhood ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, that is, ‘the whole world is one family,” he stated.
The national summit will act as a platform to bring together stakeholders, regulatory authorities and academia for interaction on various aspects of quality assurance of biologicals.
These interactions will spearhead capacity building, technology enhancement and development of newer biologicals for promoting and safeguarding public health contributing towards the government’s mandate of “Healthy India”.
Congratulating NIB for bringing multiple stakeholders in a single platform, the minister said the summit will provide a base for gap analysis in the currently prevalent quality assurance approaches in India.
“It will help upgrade the infrastructure and technologies of the country’s biopharmaceuticals and in-vitro diagnostic industry and enhance its capacity to develop world-class products and promote public health,” he stated.
He also commended NIB for realising the need for trained human resource in the biopharma sector and for taking initiative towards national skill development programme.
He added postgraduate students are being provided training on quality control of biologicals and blood bank officials are being given technical assistance to strengthen blood services and to develop and enhance analytical skills and technological knowledge.
He urged NIB to further strengthen the training programmes to prepare qualified human resource in this particular field.
Mandaviya also highlighted the need to initiate studies using state-of-the-art analytical platforms to promote the development of pharmacopeial monographs for new biologicals made from updated technologies.
He said that if such products are developed indigenously, “the treatments will become more affordable for the common man and also our public health system will become stronger”.
“Industry, academia and the regulatory network will have to work together to spur indigenous development of new biological medicines, including existing drugs for the treatment of rare and neglected diseases, innovation on new product categories such as gene therapy, stem cell therapy and personalized medicines,” he stated.