Updated on 22 November 2012
What initiatives does India require for the improvement of drug development?
With modern science we can find completely different way of doing things. I think doing things differently in the domain of drug discovery is the way. To be able to create a discovery process that leads to world class molecules, including new drugs within the existing funds, is a challenge. One has to do things uniquely.
The Open Source Drug Discovery (OSDD) initiative of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) saw participation from 130 countries, which were looking to innovate for product development at a minimal cost. Creating new incubators and having more partnerships will certainly lead to more outcomes.
You spoke about the relevance of translational research. How effective is this in present context in India?
How do we move forward on a very challenging path ahead, is clearly the question. In biopharma, translational research is the key. Yet, choosing our own model for translation is necessary. The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) headed by Dr MK Bhan is doing a great job. They are creating new institutions and mechanisms for research. It will take time but I am sure the results will be long term.
What is your opinion on the efforts to streamline regulatory affairs especially the Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) bill?
It is very unfortunate that the BRAI bill is still pending before the parliament despite it being a very important step for the growth and benefits of the industry. It looks like that the government is keen to move forward in this regard.
During my recent interaction, the health minister Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad expressed his deep concern on the pending of the bill due to various other issues. However, one has to understand that sometimes there are delays in policy procedures. Yet, I am quite hopeful of its early implementation.