Strengthening Relations for Pharma


Sir Michael Rawlins: Good quality manufacturing comes right down from the top levels of management

Indian pharma contributes substantially to UK healthcare system, making it more affordable, says Professor Sir Michael Rawlins, Chair of the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in conversation with Romiya Das of Elets News Network (ENN)

What is your overview on the Indian Pharmaceutical Industry?

The Indian Pharmaceutical industry plays a major role in the provision of health services in the UK, with approximately 25 per cent of the medicines consumed made in India. A large number of generics used in British National Health Service are also Indian made and represents value for money. Therefore, Indian pharma contributes substantially to our healthcare system and making it affordable.

How does UK seek the investment market in this industry?

There are a number of British companies who have invested in India. They see India as a vibrant market with strong qualities, particularly inchemistry. Some people call India the pharmacy of the world and we want to encourage investment in UK as well.

Can you elaborate on the working of MHRA and its guidelines?

The MHRA comprises three centres – first is the regulator (MHRA) which regulates medicines and medical devices, underpinned by robust and fact-based judgements. The second is the National Institute of Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC) which is the source of 95 per cent of WHO international biological standards for and is responsible for batch release of biological products. Thirdly, we have the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) which can provide access tothe anonymised medical records of 20 million patients. It is also a valuable tool for primary research to ensure drug safety.

What according to you are the major challenges presently faced by both India and UK pharmaceutical Industry?

There are number of challenges. For new drugs there is a requirement to reduce the development costs. Also, it is sensible to encourage increased production of generic products.

How do you see the scope of investment of UK pharma companies in India?

There are two aspects – one is to take the advantage of the expertise India has, there are many great scientists. Secondly, we need to harvest the entrepreneurial spirit that has been so prent on my visit here.

Could you elaborate on your collaborations between MHRA and CDSCO?

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on 5th October 2015. We are determined to increase collaboration and strengthen ties between the two countries by promoting each other’s regulatory frameworks, requirements and processes. It is essential that good quality manufacturing comes right down from the top levels of management and throughout the entire industry. With this both countries willcontinue to learn from each other.

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