of the Most Challenging Issues the Pharmaceutical
Industry is Facing Today is the Threat from
Below are Excerpts from an Interview with Chandan
Pat, Business Development Manager, at Essentra, with
The Pharma Review
What is the biggest challenge/issue the
pharmaceutical industry is facing today?
One of the most challenging issues the
pharmaceutical industry is facing today is the
threat from counterfeiters. In fact, data released
by the United States Food and Drug Administration
states that approximately 10% of all pharmaceutical
products sold globally are fake, and in light of
this challenge, governments around the world are
implementing various legislation. However, this
poses a further challenge for pharmaceutical
companies; For example, the EU Falsified Medicines
Directive will be in place in February next year,
and will require companies operating and trading
within the EU to implement specific features - such
as serialisation and tamper verification - which can
be both costly and logistically difficult to put in
How can packaging help to combat counterfeiting?
There are several measures that companies can take
to combat counterfeiting, all of which generally
fall into one or more of the following categories;
‘track and trace’, ‘tamper verification’ and
‘authentication systems’. Essentra advocates the
implementation of multiple-layered solutions, which
incorporate a combination of these measures to
provide enhanced security, ensuring that the
contents are both genuine and not interfered with.
What has Essentra done to combat counterfeiting?
At Essentra, we have developed a range of labels —
including fibre-tear, void and frangible — to combat
the issue of counterfeiting through tamper
verification. Fibre-tear labels irreversibly damage
the carton board on to which they are affixed,
void-release labels leave a void message when
removed, and frangible film labels use a specially
engineered substrate that disintegrates when
removed. They all allow end users to personally
judge if the carton they are opening has previously
For cartons, our specialist gluing solutions — such
as side seam, crash lock and four corner — clearly
and simply demonstrate when pharmaceutical cartons
have been tampered with.
In addition, we have also developed solutions to
tackle counterfeiting through authentication.
Authentication technologies can come in different
forms – overt, covert and forensic. Overt solutions
are obvious to the naked eye and allow instant
authentication through visual inspection, such as
holographic devices and colour-shift inks. Covert
solutions are more sophisticated as they often
require specialist equipment to identify their
presence, such as UV fluorescent inks and microtext.
Lastly forensic solutions, such as molecular markers
and biological tracers, can only be identified using
Essentra offers the covert-forensic Essentra Patron®
Taggant system which uses transparent taggant inks
that are chemically engineered to provide customers
with a unique signature. These inks are only
readable by taggant readers throughout the product’s
journey, therefore confirming that the medication is
authentic and originates from the legitimate
Where do you see pharmaceutical packaging going
in the future?
We believe that increasingly more manufacturers will
turn to packaging to provide value added features
and benefits for the consumer. Thoughtful designs
aimed at enhancing the patients’ experience with the
product will be vital – both from a patient
adherence and brand image point of view. Packaging
should help brands develop a competitive advantage.
What is patient adherence?
As defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO),
patient adherence is the extent to which a person’s
behaviour – for example taking medication, following
a diet, or executing lifestyle changes – corresponds
with agreed recommendations from a healthcare
provider. A low level of patient adherence means
that the likelihood of patients taking their
prescribed medication correctly is small. This is a
growing concern for the pharmaceutical industry as
not only does low patient adherence levels affect
the efficacy of a drug regimen, it is also extremely
costly to the industry – as patients taking their
medications incorrectly can result in additional
expenses, such as hospital appointments.
What are the effects for people who do not follow
their regimes correctly?
The side effects of patients not taking their
medicines properly and not abiding by safety
measures correctly can vary, depending on the drug
and the specialised regime they have been given. If
patients overdose for example, the consequences can
be fatal. Patients taking their medications
incorrectly can also result in both them and the
industry expending large amounts of time and money
unnecessarily every year.
Has Essentra done anything to improve patient
Last year we launched our ‘Patient Adherence Pack’,
which was showcased at CPhI India in November. This
is an informative pack that illustrates and explains
the six key features that packaging could adopt;
tamper evident features, infographics, temperature
indicators, crumple zones, alert cards and
instruction booklets. Each one of these basic
elements has the ability to add value and increase
patient adherence by utilising intelligent targeted
design practices. Though they may not completely
solve the issue of patient adherence, employing
these practices should not be overlooked.
One of the key features you mentioned are crumple
zones. What are they and how do they work?
Crumple zones are internal fitments and cut outs
that ensure fragile products, such as vials and
syringes, are protected and cannot move inside the
What about temperature indicators? How do they
Temperature indicators, such as thermochromic inks,
can be used on packaging to help patients monitor
the storage conditions that may impact the efficacy
of the drugs. These inks come with set limits of
working temperatures and are carefully selected
depending on the customers’ needs. For example, one
of our inks turns black if temperatures exceed 70°C.
Overall what would you say are the most important
things to consider when making effective
If we break down the different roles of packaging;
packaging should be able to hold its contents,
physically protect its contents, communicate
information about its contents, provide security to
its contents and aid in the transportation of its
contents. Pharmaceutical packaging is no different
and effective pharma packaging needs to fulfil all
of those qualities, as well as make the consumer
experience as easy as possible. Ultimately,
consumers are patients who need the medication to
help improve their wellbeing and health, so the
seamless delivery of contents is crucial.
from the Interview with Dr. Hari Menon, Haemato-Oncology,
Cytecare Hospital, Bangalore, with The Pharma Review
The human body is the most complex machine that
anyone can ever imagine, and it consists of numerous
organs and tissues. This is why plenty of things can
go wrong with our body, in which case we have to
take the help of specialist doctors to solve our
problems. Among the most vital tissues in the body
is our blood, which transports oxygen and
nourishment (in the form of glucose) to each and
every cell of the body. The doctors who specialize
in disorders of the blood are known as hematologists,
while those who specialize in cancer are known as
oncologists. Quite clearly, there would be a group
of doctors who have dedicated themselves to the
study and treatment of various forms of cancer of
the blood. They are known as haemato-oncologists.
Please tell us about your work at Cytecare
Hospital and how is it different from Tata Memorial
At Cytecare Hospital, I have got a unique
opportunity to set up the department of haemato-oncology
from the very inception. This poses its own set of
challenges and offers its own level of satisfaction.
At Tata Memorial Hospital, the work load was quite
heavy but it was a kind of routine. I had to handle
as many as 100 patients each and every day. Very
often, I would be able to devote just five minutes
to a new patient, who had come to me for the first
time. This would obviously not be sufficient.
Here at Cytecare, I have a more peaceful time, being
compelled to deal with fewer patients, and I can
devote some time to research as well. This is
important because in most cancer departments, the
treatment approach is rather haphazard. Some
hospitals like the Apollo, Chennai and Christian
Medical College, Vellore are of course doing a lot
of good work.
But your career was shaped and developed at Tata
Memorial Hospital, wasn’t it?
Yes indeed. In 1999, I first came to TMH as a junior
registrar in the medical oncology department, almost
immediately after completing my MD (General
Medicine) from KEM Hospital and the associated G S
Sheth Medical College. In fact, I was able to obtain
a seat in KEM in my second attempt at the All India
Postgraduate Entrance Examination. The first time, I
was allocated a seat somewhere in Odisha, which I
was not willing to join. I worked in medical
oncology in the beginning and then on Stem Cell
After that, I shifted base to the All India
Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) for my DM in
Medical Oncology, which was completed in 2004. Soon
afterwards, I was offered a Fellowship in Cellular
Therapy, which was a more advanced form of treatment
than what we were giving in India. The Fellowship
was from the American Cancer Society and would have
enabled me to do further research at Duke
University. I thought deeply about but passed it up
at the end, and accepted a position as a faculty
member at Tata Memorial.
Let us go back a little. What prompted you to
adopt the medical profession in the first place?
I come from a family in which there are many
doctors; so the idea was planted in my head right
from early childhood. It was not really a conscious
choice that I had made.
Your MD was in General Medicine. What led you
into a difficult branch like haemato-oncology?
Well, my MD thesis topic was aplastic anemia, which
led to an interest in haematology. At KEM there was
an ICMR (Indian Council for Medical Research)
laboratory, where a lot of exciting science was
happening. Then I worked with Tata Memorial for some
months which initiated me into oncology. That was
why I chose medical oncology as a subject in my DM.
And then you returned to TMH?
As a faculty member in Tata Hospital, I was deeply
into academic work. One aspect was teaching
postgraduate students, which was really satisfying.
But there was very little scope of moving into a
higher plane of cancer research; service for the
patients and teaching came ahead of research.
Besides, I was working 12-13 hours a day and I did
not think I could sustain the punishing schedule all
the way to my retirement which more than 10 years
So how long were you with Tata Memorial?
I was on their teaching faculty for almost 12 years
– Nov 2004 to Aug 2016.
Do you miss it sometimes?
Perhaps, the teaching part, I certainly miss that.
But not much else, I think.
- Within Quality Throughout
Please find Below Excerpts
from an Interview with Mr. Neeraj Ahuja, Director of
Harrison's Pharma Machinery Pvt. Ltd., with The
Q1. You are among the pioneers in the Pharma
Machinery Industry in North India?
Yes, the Harrison’s Pharma Machinery Pvt. Ltd was
established in 1983 and since then we been marked
successfully in the Pharmaceutical as well as in
Cosmetic Industry for machinery and technical
Q2. Please tell us about how you started and the
achievements of your company today?
We started in 1983 at a very small scale and as
the years passed by we have emerged as the leading
manufacturer and supplier of a superior quality
range of Pharmaceutical Machinery With the help of a
team of highly qualified engineers and R&D experts,
we are able to bring forth an upgraded range of
machines & equipment for patrons. These
pharmaceutical machines are timely and safely
delivered at clients' end. Today we have managed to
be such a recognised & leading name in this industry
because of our quality products; infrastructure;
Experienced workforce; competitive prices; timely
delivery of products& ethical business practices.
Q3. What kind of machinery do you specialise in?
We specialise in all kind of pharmaceutical;
cosmetic; herbal; canteen equipments. We have
expanded our specialisation in lab tools also.
Some of our clients are Patanajali Ayurveda ltd. ;
Ranbaxy laboratories; Dabur India ltd.; Medicamen
Biotech ltd; Tirupati Medicare ltd; BAFCO
Pharmaceuticals ltd.; Albert David ltd.; SBL PVT.
LTD.; Lotus Herbal and many more.
Q4. Quality control would be your top priority.
Would you please elaborate on this?
Quality of our products has been always our
priority. And I believe that quality of our products
is one of the factors which has helped us in being
such a successful name in the Pharma industry. Our
policy Quality - within Quality Through out," is
strictly followed in all the business operations.
Commitment from bright and talented employees help
in sharing a common goal, and ensure to meet our
customer’s expectations. We are known among our
clients as a progressive and quality &
service-driven organisation. As a part of our
quality control approach, we test the entire range
of Pharmaceutical Machinery manufactured by us on
defined parameters. Moreover, with the aid of our
quality controllers, we ensure that only superior
quality raw material and components are used in the
Q5. How has the
technology changed in this field in the in the last
Today’s world is a technology driven world where
technology is updating itself day by day and
everyday we get to know about new technologies. In
Pharma industry also technology has been updated
from manual machines to semi-manual machines and to
fully automatic machines.
Q6. Which countries do you export your machinery
We export to every country. Some of our
international clients are located in the following
U.S.A; Argentina; Italy; Turkey; Nigeria; Zimbabwe;
Sudan; U.A.E; Sri Lanka; Nepal; Afghanistan; Bhutan;
Bangladesh; Myanmar; Philippines; Malaysia; New
Q7. What are your future Plans?
Our future plans is to expand our pharmaceutical
business world wide. And to make expansion in our
business by entering the herbal industry as the
world is going more towards the herbal products and
its creating awareness among people about the herbal
Q8. How do you see
the Indian Pharma sector vis-a-vis Vision 2020 ?
I firmly believe that Indian Pharma sector by
2020 will grow and expand to its fullest. There will
be more upcoming Pharma industries by 2020 in India
which will help our country develop.
Q9. What are your
Our success factors are quality of our products;
performance; durability; client satisfaction; timely
delivery of our orders; and my team.
at Your Doorstep
find Below Excerpts from an Interview with Mr.
Vishal Warke, Director of HiMedia Laboratories Pvt.
Ltd., with The Pharma Review
1. You are one of India's leading
companies in your field today, can you tell us about
your journey so far?
With the vision of ‘Excellence at your Doorstep’
HiMedia began its journey 40 years ago under the
stewardship of Dr. G. M. Warke. This vision has
enabled HiMedia to bring to our patrons excellence
in quality and service, coupled with excellence in
innovation and topicality. The journey continues
from Microbiology to Animal Cell Culture,Plant
Tissue Culture, Molecular Biology and so on. HiMedia
Labs is one of the few companies in India which
focuses on microbiological culture media. Today, the
company has over 5,000 products in microbiology. On
the whole, the company caters both to the private
and public sector. The journey so far is challenging
and satisfying as we are providing world class
quality service to our satisfied customers.
‘BioSciences in the service of humankind’ - has been
our mission and we are committed to serve. This
mission has enabled us to surmount challenges and
trials to bring quality to you at most affordable
prices. The transformation of India's health sector
to serve the common man has HiMedias's diagnostic
media as its prime mover. Now the same zeal
motivates us to expand our reach to encompass entire
2. What is the range of products you specialize
We have a wide range of products catering in the
areas of Pharmaceutical industry, agriculture,
Brewery & fermentation, Environmental and sanitary
industries, Textile & Petroleum, Cosmetics industry,
Molecular biology growth media, clinical
microbiology, veterinary science, vaccine
productions. A comprehensive range of Media,
conforming specifications of pharmacopoeia
guidelines is available with HiMedia for complete
testing methods in pharmaceutical laboratories. With
the harmonization of USP/EP/BP/JP/IP, newer testing
protocols have to be implemented for testing of
non-sterile drug products and HiMedia today has a
complete range of harmonized compendial grade media.
We also have granulated media and protein
hydrolysates, the use of which avoids the
aerosolization that generally happens with powder
media and thus makes the work environment dust free
and pleasant to work in. Moreover, we have gone a
step further and created a broad range of capsulated
media that have pre-weighed amounts of media in
them, which again avoids the hassle of weighing the
media and of dust cloud formation.
Another unique range of HiMedia produces HiVeg
Peptones (hydrolysates prepared from non-animal
sources, such as wheat, corn and soy) that are
manufactured by its independent sister-concern
company, Warkem Biotech. HiMedia Labs has started
manufacturing media (MEM Eagle) for vaccine
products. This media is exported to vaccine
companies in SE Asia, East Europe and Latin America.
The company is now looking at providing stem cell
and primary cell lines at affordable costs to the
3. Where are your main units / R&D centres
HiMedia Company today has eight manufacturing
facilities. Our R & D centre is located in Mumbai.
We are currently in the process of upgrading our
manufacturing facility in Mumbai.
4. What measures do you take for quality control
of your products?
With firm commitment to excellence in work
Culture and products, HiMedia has its own in-house
bulk raw materials manufacturing plant. This enables
us to deliver consistent quality products that
conform to ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 13485:2003 and WHO:
GMP. The technical product-service package offered
by HiMedia globally enables patrons to tap the
expertise of HiMedia's Central Laboratory in
matching products to their precise needs. We make
constant efforts for innovation through Research and
Development activity for increasing the range of
HiMedia products by developing 15 new products and
up-gradation of existing products every year. We
have developed culture of commitment to Quality by
up-gradation of skills and improvement in work
methods to restrict the rejection level below 0.5%.
5. How are you currently placed in the domestic/
The overall CAGR for HiMedia has been 18% since
last five years. Growth in domestic segment has been
25% since last three years. Domestic market share is
about 60% and 40% in international market. Rapid
growth of the organization has increased the need
for delivery time. To address this we are setting up
ware-houses in Middle East and Europe. We already
have HiMedia Laboratories, LLC based at
Pennsylvania, USA. It has been operational since
last four years and managed well by our USA team.
6. What are your future plans?
We are in aggressive expansion phase for future,
with multiple new sites under construction. This is
basically to enhance our product range and also to
increase capacities to accommodate accelerating
7. How do you see the Indian Pharma sector
vis-a-vis Vision 2020?
As I understand, most of the professional
reports envisage that by 2020, India is likely to be
among the top three pharmaceutical markets by
incremental growth and sixth largest market globally
in absolute size. Market is expected to expand at a
CAGR of 15.92 per cent to US$ 55 billion by 2020.
This exciting for us as well to gear up at the
higher pace. The pharmaceutical segment for HiMedia
has been about 20% with annual increase in absolute
market by about 22%.
8. What are your Success Factors?
Key factors contributing to our success are
highly quality conscious, highly customer-supportive
& customer friendly sales-marketing team and broad
portfolio in biosciences which encompasses wide
range of products. We being multidisciplinary, we
can leverage strength of one division against other.
For example in many chemicals not only we have LR,
GR, ACS grade but also due to our diverse profile,
we have grades such as ‘Plant tissue culture
tested’, Animal Cell Culture Tested’, ‘Molecular
Biology grade’. These test chemicals get tested and
verified in their respective labs at HiMedia. Also
the Top management is comprised of six technically
sound doctors and doctorates, this indicates the
technical focus of the organisation and this also
keeps the organisation at the advanced cutting edge
of developments in biosciences. Thus, it is a very
effective, ‘Top Driven’ approach.
9. Please tell about your awards and accolades.
With a presence in more than 125 countries
HiMedia is amongst the top three brands in
microbiology in the world. It gives us an immense
pleasure and pride to mention that HiMedia was
selected at Maharashtra State Level under
BioSciences category by Government of India, and was
invited to attend the “Make in India Week” in Mumbai
for a meeting with the Chief Minister Shri Devendra
Fadnavis, an event held on February 17, 2016.
Memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between
HiMedia Laboratories Pvt Ltd and Government of
Maharashtra, for facilitation of HiMedia
Laboratories Pvt Ltd to obtain necessary permissions
/ registrations / approvals / clearances/ fiscal
incentives etc. from the concerned departments of
the state, as per the rules and regulations of
Government of Maharashtra.
In 2014 HiMedia has been nominated in the Cell
Culture Media & Reagents catagory for the
prestigious “Life Science Industry Awards-2014” held
in Washington DC and has been recognised as one of
the eight best companies in the world.
We have been twice recipient of
India’s highest quality honour, the ‘Rajiv Gandhi
National Quality Award’ in 2011 and 2007. In the
past two decades we have been appreciated and adored
with several other awards IES Udyog Shree Award,
CHEMEXCIL First Export Award, Certificate of
Outstanding Performance in the Export of DCM.
Automations has become Synonymous with Quality and
Service Excellence. Our Core Strength has been
Product Innovation and The Latest Technology"
below excerpts from an Interview with Mr. Samir
Gandhi, Director of Gandhi Automations Pvt. Ltd.,
with The Pharma Review
You being one of the Leaders in the Automation,
Loading Bay Equipment, Clean Room & Doors Systems in
Pharma/Chemical/Food etc Industries in India, please
tell us about the beginning of your company and the
journey till today.
The 1990s post liberalised
era and the advent of the internet, which brought
about a revolution of sorts. I spend a lot of time
looking at the global trends and latest developments
in the more advanced markets where even the smallest
companies and commercial establishments had
motorised shutters and automated entrance systems.
The Indian industry too was experiencing these winds
of change. The automotive and consumer goods
segments were booming and a revolution in retail was
underway, and there was also the scaling up of
infrastructure to facilitate all this growth. This
opened up several opportunities for the products I
was planning to manufacture and thus began the quest
for appropriate technology and components.
We have a very wide range of products under major
heads like doors/high speed doors, loading bay
equipment, rolling shutters and boom barriers, but
there are numerous types under each of these, e.g.,
under doors, there are high speed doors, sectional
overhead doors, hangar doors, rolling doors, fire
rated shutters and doors, industrial sliding doors,
commercial doors, garage doors, etc. Then there are
specialised applications like clean rooms, freezers,
etc., that need different materials and
specifications. Similarly, loading bay equipment
comprises dock levellers, sectional overhead doors,
dock shelters and lift tables.
As for popular products, high speed doors and dock
levellers are the fast moving products.
Kindly tell us about
any specific achievements of your company?
Company is certified to ISO 9001:2008 quality
management system by TUV Nord and all products
manufactured are CE marked.
What are the fields you
We specialize in manufacturing of products like High
Speed Doors, Dock Levelers, Dock Shelters, Rolling
Shutters, Fire Rated Rolling Shutters, Sectional
Overhead Doors, Mega Industrial Sliding Doors,
Aircraft Hangar Doors & Shipyard Doors, Motorised
Gates & Boom Barriers. Out of these Dock Leveler,
Dock Shelter and Sectional overhead doors are
important material handling equipment, our expertise
is strictly related to providing loading bay
solutions, we have 70% market share in this segment,
all the products are designed and manufacture by our
Quality control would be your top priority. Would
you please elaborate on this?
Gandhi Automations has become synonymous with
quality and service excellence. Our core strength
has been its product innovation and the latest
technology. Without innovation an organization may
make sustainable, stable growth, but to achieve the
desired growth rate, innovation is the key to
maintain one’s leadership in the market. To achieve
its strategic goals, the production processes are
made as efficient as possible and the products are
technically superior, hence possessing a natural
advantage in the market. For Gandhi Automations
research is an on-going commitment, a large share of
resources is invested to continue producing winning
solutions in terms of functionality, safety, energy
efficiency and design.
How are you currently placed in the Indian and
the international market?
We have 70% market share in India, domestic is
market is not a challenge for us anymore our current
export volumes are approximately 5% of total, we
plan to increase it gradually to 50% in coming
Any specific future Plans?
“We are number 1 in the domestic market. There’s
huge untapped international market for our products.
Our products meet international safety standards and
with right kind of product portfolio, we are ready
to export to this huge international market.”
With increased globalization and countries opening
up for business we see a great opportunity in
neighboring countries also. For instance in Myanmar,
last few years foreign investments has increased
from few million to several billions dollars (300
million dollar 2009 to 5 billion 2014). The
government has relaxed import restrictions and
abolished export taxes. Such polices boost our
confidence and we will venture in such countries.
“Our current target for export is Gulf Countries and
European Countries. In coming years we will be
targeting neighboring countries like Bangladesh,
Indonesia, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and few African
countries. I have visited few of these countries and
we have better products to offer them, than the ones
they are currently using. By 2018 years we are
targeting 50% revenue from export.”
of our Interview with Mr. Apoorva Shah, Managing
Director of TSA Process.
being one of the Leaders in the Water purification
Systems in Pharma/ Food etc Industries in India,
please tell us about the beginning of your company
and the journey till today.
In 2004 TSA stated with focusing on providing
solutions for purified water distribution systems.
It later expanded to Designing & Manufacturing Pure
water treatment system. Over the period of decade
TSA has almost all the top Pharma companies in its
folds. It has been a wonderful journey with
enriching experience with ever changing demands and
norms for Water system as guidelines of USP/IP/BP.
We had an opportunity to increase our knowledge and
build quality systems. With this in mind we started
a new manufacturing facility to cater the demands
for pharma industry in international market and
today we have more than 50 installation in above 20
countries. Today we are a team of 150 members and
Kindly tell us about any specific
achievements of your company?
TSA Achievement was to design, manufacture,
install and operate one of the largest Water
treatment plant in pharma industry for a very
reputed company. Capacity was 0.5 MLD(Million Liters
per day). The USP for this project was that it was
executed and complete system was shipped from our
Manufacturing unit in 47 Days.
What are the fields you specialize in?
Our specialization is Pure Water Generation and
distribution System, WFI distribution system,
Sterile Manufacturing vessels, Sanitary Heat
How has the technology changed in this field in
the in the last few years?
Change is eminent and as largest Export for
pharmaceutical products from India; Pharma companies
have taken onus to improvisation with quality system
and concurring with demands from Auditors like US
FDA/ WHO. There has been a lot of emphasis on
automation with new GAMP’s playing a very major
How are you currently placed in the Indian and
the international market?
Domestically we can say we would be in top 5 to
provide pure water solutions for pharma industry,
however we have long way to go and our mission is to
be the Topmost solution provider in the said
industry. Internationally we can easily say that we
might be topmost exporter for pure water systems
from India as our 50% revenues are from export.
Which countries do you export your products to?
We have supplied and successfully commissioned in
over 20 countries ranging from Gulf and Middle East,
East and North Africa, South East Asia, USA, Brazil,
Iran, Turkey, East European and CIS countries.
Any specific future Plans?
Future plans are to add new products to pharma
segment and focus on pure water demands from Food
and Beverage industry. With regards to pharma we
intend to roll out complete line for sterilization
Equipment in the very near future. There are 3
Products which are in the final stages of R& D which
we will bring out soon.
Any suggestions for change in any Govt policy
with relation to your industry.
We are very much looking forward to GST
What are your Success Factors.
Please tell about your awards and accolades.
We have not received any awards but we have been
nominated for Udyog Ratna, India achievers award.
However we failed to go and receive the awards.
StripPax® Packet Dispensers are
Engineered to Manage all Regulatory Concerns
Regarding Desiccant Handling SOPs and Their Efficacy
from an exclusive Interview with Mr. Adrian T.
Possumato, Vice President, Healthcare Packaging,
Ongoing Challenges is The Generic Industry Facing?
development costs coupled with the price erosion of
both generic and branded drugs are creating
significant challenges for pharmaceutical
manufacturers. Three primary challenges generic
manufacturers face today are:
actions and concerns,
2) speed- to-market,
3) maintaining quality while reducing cost. In this
marketplace, the effective use of sorbent technology
represents an untapped area for many companies to
help overcome these challenges.
What are The FDA’s
Concerns Regarding Desiccant Handling and
One of the FDA’s primary concerns is the
efficacy of the sorbent being used given that the
sorbent contributes to the chemical and/or physical
stability profile of a drug product. Managing FIFO
(first-in-first-out) through dispensing equipment is
critical to maintaining sorbent quality. During
pharmaceutical audits, the FDA will review FIFO
procedures are being correctly followed and take
random samples of desiccants for testing.
How Can Multisorb Help with Compliance with FDA
Multisorb StripPax® packet dispensers are
engineered to manage all regulatory concerns
regarding desiccant handling SOPs and their efficacy
while dispensing. This is accomplished by
Multisorb’s SMART dispensing technology, which
ensures proper FIFO control through a dry-air purge
system to protect the desiccant adsorption capacity,
and full integration with the packaging line to
ensure line downtime is within desiccant handling
parameters. Multisorb’s SorbiCap® canister dispenser
uses dual hoppers, which run alternately, thereby
ensuring continuous operations for optimal
efficiency while providing FIFO control.
Can Simulations Provide Faster Market Access?
Simulations are an invaluable tool for generic
drug manufacturers looking to obtain first-to-file
advantage and the six months of market exclusivity
provided by the Hatch-Waxman Act. Accurately and
quickly predicting drug product stability through
the use of simulations can save approximately 6-12
months of development time by eliminating desiccant
ranging studies. This time savings allows
pharmaceutical companies to expedite regulatory
filing and get to market faster with a stabilized
Are Pharmaceutical Companies Using Simulations?
Are There Any Concerns Regarding Their Use?
Increasingly, we see companies taking advantage
of simulations to decrease time to market. However,
simulation programs differ and not all offer the
same level of expertise, experience and
capabilities. Understanding how the simulations are
conducted and their history is important. For
example, Multisorb’s SimuOxSM and SimulSorbSM
simulations are Quality by Design (QbD) based
programs used by its scientists since 2004 to
successfully stabilize over 1,000 packaging
Can Simulations Help With Brittle or Cracking
Multisorb’s simulations can help companies
quickly identify the optimal sorbent to help
eliminate cracking or brittle capsules. We have
worked with a number of companies to resolve this
issue resulting in the use of IntelliSorb® moisture
regulating packets or canisters. Should oxidative
degradation also be an issue, StabilOx® packets and
canisters can be employed for both moisture and
How Can Sorbent Costs be Reduced and/or Better
Taking a comprehensive approach to sorbent
technology is crucial. The price per piece can be a
deceptive measure of cost savings when disruptions,
FDA actions, decreased quality or inefficiencies
result. Poorly designed sorbents can cause
downstream quality issues such as cracking or
brittle capsules and increase overall costs. Faulty
or under performing equipment and product can often
mean lost productivity that becomes a hidden cost.
Using Multisorb’s Success through EfficiencySM
program can help companies address these issues. It
examines the entire development process in three key
areas: Identify, Select and Dispense. At each stage,
we optimize the process to help you better achieve
desired results for healthcare product protection
and shelf life while reducing your overall costs.
Our MultiSystems™ approach delivers an industry
leading output efficiency of >99.997% that delivers
the lowest total cost of ownership for sorbent
Big Pharma Companies Always look Forward to Hear
from Akums on Its New Approvals to Further
Strengthen Their Products’ Portfolio
Please find below excerpts from an
Interview with Mr. Sanjeev Jain, Director of Akums
Drugs & Pharmaceuticals Ltd., with Mr. Faroukh Debu,
Editor, The Pharma Review
Akums Drugs & Pharmaceuticals has achieved several
milestones in sectors of Healthcare and
Pharmaceuticals and a credible position. We would
like you to share some views and ideas about your
company, plans, future and your outlook to the
In a span of 10 years, Akums group has set up 10
world class units with a vast portfolio covering
almost all therapeutic segments & dosage forms.
Akums has become an icon of India’s healthcare
industry and known around the world for its high
quality products, transparency in dealing & sticking
to its commitments. Akums currently manufactures
over 10% of India’s total medicinal consumption,
which is likely to go up to 20 % in very near
Akums manufactures TOP ORG brands for all big Pharma
Companies and Multi National Companies on Party to
Party and Loan License basis to their utmost
satisfaction. There is hardly any retail chemist in
the country where a product manufactured by Akums
group is not available.
Contract Research & Manufacturing Services (C.R.A.M.S)
and is actively engaged in domestic, export &
Formulation & Development of Novel Drug Delivery
System (N.D.D.S) products.
Technical Collaboration & Joint Ventures.
Akums’ unique competence lies in developing
specialized new formulations, conducting stability
studies, undertaking bio-equivalence studies,
clinical trials and obtaining DCGI approvals for
manufacturing new Fixed Dosage Combinations &
Molecules and thereby offering new formulations to
its clients with Akums’ technology under their brand
names. Akums has already got 500 DCGI approvals ,
which is highest in number awarded to any company in
the country and large number of applications are in
Akums plans to set up units as per US-FDA /UK-MHRA
norms in near future to cater its world class
formulations to US & UK markets.
What are The Quality Certifications Held by Company?
Our plants are WHO-GMP, GMP, ISO 9001-2008, ISO
14001-2004 ,ISO 17025-2005 (NABL), QMS-HACCP, GLP,
US-NSF & DSIR Certified.
Our different plants have also been approved by
regulatory bodies of – ANVISA-Brazil, NAFDAC-Nigeria,
PPB-Kenya, NDA-Uganda, FDB-Ghana, PMPB-Malawi, MOH-Libya,
CD & DA-Sri Lanka, DPM-Ivory Coast, MOH-Vietnam, MOH-Cambodia,
MOH-Myanmar, MOH-Belarus, DDA-Nepal, MOH-Bhutan, MOH-Afghanistan,
Give Us an Insight To Akums Working Culture?
We have a healthy work culture environment with
open and progressive approach that inspires and
motivates the entire staff, whether technical,
commercial or operational to work with dedication,
diligence, devotion, dynamism, determination,
discipline and direction to convert resource into
results and vision into reality. We believe in
maintaining homely & friendly atmosphere in our
corporate office as well as at all the 10 plants
where more than 8000 people are working. We spend a
reasonable amount of money in our CSR activities and
for the development of our employees at all levels
by imparting trainings from time to time.
Contract Manufacturing is a Very Competitive Space.
What are Your Policies to Compete With Competitors?
We in fact do not keep a track of our competitors &
their policies but concentrate on our own policies
of dealing with clients with transparency, provide
the best quality products and stick to our
commitments, whether its quality or timely
deliveries. Due to these business traits of Akums,
our clients do not easily switch over even if lesser
rates are offered by the competitors to allure them.
How Akums Works on Products and Processes?
As mentioned above, Akums is not merely a contract
manufacturing company but it is a technology driven
& research oriented organization. Our R&D and F&D
Departments with cream of industries personnel keep
working on improvising the existing formulations,
whether in dosage forms or drug delivery system and
offer new improved products to its clients for their
marketing for the benefit of masses through medical
fraternity. We have well qualified & experienced PMT
team and provide marketing inputs to our marketing
associates for new DCGI permissions obtained by us
from time to time.
Tell us About Your Experience of Operating in Excise
Initially, Excise free zone has really helped us to
get clients who wanted to get their products
manufactured in excise free zone and save money but
over the period of time we have not only developed
good relationship with our clients but have also
earned their full trust on our products’ quality &
commitments and this how it continues. More & more
number of Multinational, National & Regional
pharmaceutical companies are joining Akums’ client
list and getting their leading brands manufactured
at Akums Group of Companies for their domestic as
well as export requirement.
Your Effective Marketing Strategies - Some Insights?
We have single window system for each customer to
handle & co-ordinate all matters relating to legal,
agreements, licenses, artworks, manufacturing &
sales status, accounts etc.
We deal small & big companies alike without any
disparity, give them due respect and prompt
attention at all times. We keep all our clients
updated on the newer developments and also take
their feedbacks/ suggestions on our working style
from time to time for self improvement.
Top Leadership Plays a Big Role. Share Some Insights
About Your Key Managerial Staff?
Directors and Senior Mangers keep personal touch
with all the clients on a regular basis and give
patient hearing to their complaints/ grievances, if
any and take prompt action to provide fruitful &
workable solution to resolve the issues at an
earliest possible. We have a dedicated team of
Business Development personal for each marketing
company, who collectively look after their accounts
and take care of companies as if they are working
How do You Work for Customer Relationship
We keep in regular contact with all our customers
through mails, telephones and senior managers as
well as dealing business development executives
visit them periodically to know their feedbacks on
our overall performance, scope for improvement and
discuss newer developments in the company. We make
it a point to wish all our customers (key persons)
on their birthdays, marriage anniversaries etc. to
give a personal touch as we consider all our clients
as family members.
Give us an Insight About Your Customers Both
National and Inter-National
We are manufacturing TOP ORG brands of TOP Pharma
Companies of India , some of our esteemed clients
Sun Pharma, Abbott, GSK, Torrent, Sanofi, Aventis,
UCB, Aristo, Cipla, Cadila, Wockhardt, Novartis, A.
Menarini, Emcure, INTAS, Dr. Reddy’s Lab,
Unichem,Merck, FDC, Mankind, Ferring, MSD, Dabur,
Lupin, Pharmed, Blue Cross, IPCA, TTK, Glenmark,
Hetero, Alkem, Deys, Sanzyme, Ajanta, Albert David,
Eris, Allergen, Fourrts, Lundback, Apex, Provimi,
Besins, 4-Life, Medley, Micro, Mapra, Biochem,
Panacea, Piramal, Medreich, Entod, Zuventus, Bayer,
Mylan, Avon, P&G and many more.
We are exporting our formulations through our export
subsidiary company; Unosource Pharma Limited, Mumbai
to Libya , Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Myanmar,
Ethiopia, Liberia, Malawi, Phillipines, Vietnam, Sri
countries and many others.
What Do You Feel are The Main Factors for Your
We firmly believe in transparency in dealing, living
upto our commitments and do not compromise in the
quality of products under any circumstances. We are
although a contract manufacturing company but are
highly technology driven & research oriented and
our R&D and F&D departments are always working on
improvising old molecules to provide convenience of
dosage schedule and develop new FDCs and offer to
clients after getting permission from DCGI for
manufacturing and marketing. All Big Pharma
companies always look forward to hear from Akums on
its new approvals to further strengthen their
Please Tell About Your Awards And Accolades?
National Award for
“Excellence in Product Quality” ( Govt. of India).
Best Emerging Company
Award 2103 by Business Today India’s most admired
company in CRAMS Market 2013 by Pharma Leaders.
India’s most technically &
scientifically advanced pharmaceutical manufacturing
company in 2014 Pharma Leaders.
“Excellence in Contract
Research –Formulation Development” –by UBM India.
Corporate Governance Award
2103 by Business Today.
“Zee Business Brand
Excellence Award” in 2013 by CMO Asia.
Most Trusted Manufacture &
Exporter of Pharmaceutical Medicines in 2013 by
Indian Achievers Podium.
Largest Manufacturer of
Best Quality Pharmaceutical Formulations by FOPE.
“Business Leadership “
award in the category of “Business Excellence in
Outsourcing Pharma Company” in 2013 by World Wide
Asia’s Best & Fastest
Growing Healthcare & Wellness Brand 2015 by World
Consulting & Research Corporation, Singapore.
Most Admired Quality
Pharmaceutical Manufacturer of India-2015 – Pure &
Cure Healthcare Pvt. Ltd. by Pharma Leaders.
Most Promising Company in
Nutraceuticals & Herbal Manufacturing 2015 -
Maxcure Nutravedics Ltd. by Pharma Leaders.
· Excellence In
Pharmaceutical Innovation Award For The Year 2015-
Malik Lifesciences Ltd. by Pharma Leaders and many
are NOT in the Pursuit of Success – Rather We are in
the Pursuit of Excellence"
& Engineers, based in Ahmedabad, India has a global
presence with an extended sales network which
spreads over 3 continents. The manufacturing
facility is spread over an area of more than 40,000
Sq. Ft. and a built-up area 20,000 Sq. Ft. The
facility houses the latest set of manufacturing
machinery. SSPM has embraced a total quality
philosophy with an emphasis on prevention rather
than detection. State - of - Art manufacturing and
testing equipment and procedures are used in every
step of SSPM’s manufacturing operation. SSPM has a
“robust communication infrastructure. Since its
inception, SSPM has been committed to continuous
research to meet the challenging technical problems
that arise in Pharmaceuticals and Drug Manufacturing
and has developed a working partnership with many of
of our Interview with Mr. J. J. Shah, Director of
SSPM Systems & Engineers
Tell us Briefly About Your Company and Your
Achievements Till Date?
“SSPM SYSTEMS & ENGINEERS” was established in
the Year 2000. We have now been serving the pharma
industry in India and worldwide for the last 15
years with total dedication and commitment. SSPM is
engaged in manufacturing of pharmaceutical Solid
Dosage Equipment (both Wet & Dry Granulation),
Liquid Filling Equipment, Packaging Machines &
Pneumatic Conveying System for Pharmaceuticals, Food
& Beverages Industries.
Since its inception, SSPM has been committed to
continuous research to meet the challenging
technical problems that arise in Pharmaceuticals and
Drug Manufacturing. SSPM has developed a working
partnership with many of its clients, listens to
their problems and are continually striving to find
the right solution. SSPM spends significant
resources to develop better process and equipments.
As a policy of SSPM we provide products which are
reliable and consistent with the expectations and
requirements of our customers. SSPM focuses on
technology, quality, reliability and service in
order to provide the most innovative quality
solutions for its customers at the lowest possible
cost. SSPM has earned a reputation for high quality
and responsiveness among its customers. The highly
skilled SSPM workforce utilizes the latest
manufacturing machineries, CAD/CAM systems and
adheres to cGMP standards to meet its customer’s
stringent requirements in drug manufacturing.
What Kind of Pharmaceutical Machinery do you
We specialize in the manufacture of :
Solid Dosage Equipment (Wet Granulation & Dry
Full Liquid Manufacturing Plant - Liquid Filling,
Sealing, Labelling & Packaging Equipment.
Pneumatic Conveying System/ Vacuum Transfer System.
Quality Control would be your Top Priority. Would
you Please Elaborate on this?
SSPM follows a policy based on the concept of
dynamic quality. The purpose of this policy is to
ensure total satisfaction for all of our customers,
suppliers and employees through the continuous
development and improvement of products, services
and the skill set of our employees.
Our Quality Policy Consists of the following
Continuous improvement in product quality by
By upgrading our manufacturing technology and
Constantly listening to our customers to ensure the
sustainable improvement of their satisfaction.
Systematic measurement and communication of
How has The Technology Changed in This Field in
The Last Few Years?
Technology has played an important role in
mordernizing equipment, processes and quality.
We use 3 D Modelling as a tool for equipment
development and design.
Process Automation has changed with up gradation in
PLC & HMI through latest software and its process.
SCADA connectivity has greatly influenced Remote
New Containment Technology (OEL LEVEL) provides
strategies by providing integrated concepts for
pharmaceutical production of machines.
Implementation of 21 CFR Part 11. Compliance is
mandatory for pharmaceutical companies and their
suppliers to sell products into the global market.
Achieving compliance with 21 CFR Part 11 is best
accomplished by a partnership between the user and
the vendor. The user knows how they want the system
to fit into their Quality Management System (QMS)
and operate on a day-to-day basis in their
organization. The vendor knows how the system
achieves compliance within its functionality.
How are you Currently Placed in The Indian and
The International Market?
At present we have very good installation base
and excellent client satisfaction in India as well
in the International market and we are hoping to
further develop the markets in coming years.
Which Countries do you Export Your Machinery to?
Algeria, Brazil, Bangladesh, Dubai, Egypt, Iran,
Iraq, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Kazakhstan,
Malaysia, Nepal, Nigeria, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sri
Lanka, Syria, Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey,
USA, Vietnam, Yemen, etc.
What are your Future Plans?
Innovation is the main stay of business in the
current scene. We plan to serve our existing
customers as well as prospective customers with
upgraded features. More specific customer
satisfaction by re-design and modification of
products as per customer requirements is in the
pipeline. In order to further improve client
satisfaction, we plan to listen to the problems of
our clients and spend significant resources to
develop better process and equipment.
How do you see The Indian Pharma Sector vis-à-vis
Indian Pharma sector is presently in a good and
healthy situation. The sector is growing at a rapid
pace and Indian companies are using innovative
methods for developing new products and services.
Still lots of work needs to be done in terms of
modification & replacement in existing facility to
match with international standard. There is no doubt
that the Indian Pharma sector will do India proud
and be a leading sector in industry.
Sterile Connections for Single-Use Applications
biotechnology industry is expected to grow at an
average rate of 30% per annum to reach USD$100
billion by 20251. According to a research done by
YES BANK Ltd, India is one of the top 12
biotechnology destinations in the world and ranks
third in the Asia-Pacific region2. However, in
today's world of fierce competition and strong
regulatory compliance pressure, whether India will
sustain as a key player remains a concern.
Considering that bioprocessing is the discipline
which puts biotechnology to work3, Indian companies
will need to be major leaders of innovation in the bioprocessing field to remain competitive.
Essentially, this means adopting relevant
technologies to develop processes that enhance the
fundamental basis of bioprocessing – accuracy,
sterility and flexibility.
Single-use applications are examples of such
technology that is widely adopted in the bioprocess
industry. Interest in innovative disposable
connectors in particular, has risen over the years
as the industry recognizes the crucial role these
devices can play4. The Pharma Review magazine spoke
with Todd Andrews, Bioprocessing Global Sales &
Business Development Manager of CPC to understand
more about innovative single-use integrated
combination connectors and how it contributes to a
hassle-free and efficient bioprocess.
What are Combination Connections and Why are They
Used in Single-Use Bioprocessing?
Combination connections combine two or more
specialty connectors to enhance process flexibility
while minimizing risk and complexity. Specialty
connectors for single-use systems have been integral
to the success of single-use processes over the past
decade and will continue to be over the next decade.
These connectors are designed to meet a single,
specific operational need. Examples include sterile
connectors, sterile disconnects and steam-in-place
(SIP) connectors. Sterile connectors allow users to
connect two pre-sterilized systems in a
non-controlled environment. Sterile disconnects are
used to separate two parts of a system in a process
without introducing contamination to either part.
SIP connectors link pre-sterilized single-use
systems with fixed process equipment such as
stainless steel bioreactors via a steam-in-place
process. In many cases, however, bioprocess
engineers may want to combine two of these
technologies at the same point in a process. For
example, combining a sterile connector and sterile
disconnect into one connector creates a combination
connection meeting two critical needs all-in-one.
How Can Single-Use Systems be Designed for
Until recently, combination connections have
been assembled by linking two specialty connectors
in series with a flexible tubing junction. For
example, several integrators have developed custom
assemblies that consist of a SIP connector and a
sterile connector with a length of tubing in
between. While custom assemblies can address a need
for combining connection technology, they do have
their disadvantages that include the higher cost for
custom assemblies and the additional potential leak
points at the ends of the tubing. These
disadvantages can be minimized with the use of
integrated combination connectors.
Some Examples of Integrated Combination Connectors?
A connector which adopts two single use
connection technologies into one connector is an
example of an integrated combination connector. Such
connectors can combine sterile connect and
disconnect functionality all in one connector
eliminating the need for a custom assembly with
tubing. An example of this type of connector is
CPC’s AseptiQuik DC. With this connector, a sterile
connection can be established in a simple,
three-step process that allows sterile liquid
transfer in a few seconds. After liquid transfer, an
aseptic disconnect can be made in a single step that
takes just a second or two to complete.
Similarly, a connector that combines sterile connect
and SIP (steam-in-place) capability is also an
integrated combination connector. Such connectors
are typically needed in biopharmaceutical processes
using a hybrid combination of stainless equipment
and single-use systems. Using CPC’s AseptiQuik STC
as an example, a 3/4-inch mini sanitary junction is
used to integrate a sterile connector directly with
a SIP connector. The sanitary junction provides a
more secure connection and reduces the number of
potential leak points associated with use of a
length of tubing between the connectors.
AseptiQuik STC’s can be pre-sterilized by either
gamma irradiation or autoclaving. The pre-sterilized
connector is attached to stainless steel equipment
during system preparation and the connection point
is sterilized with the system via SIP. The final
sterile connection is completed by attaching a
standard sterile connector body any time after the
SIP cycle. Notably, if such combination connectors
come with the genderless option, it adds further
flexibility and ease of use by not having to worry
about gendered “male” and “female” halves.
Genderless connection technology reduces the number
of SKU’s needed and greatly reduces the risk of
How Would You use an All-in-One Single-Use
Sterile Connect and Disconnect Technology in a
Bioprocess Manufacturing Environment?
Some applications for connectors with the
all-in-one single-use connection technology include
sterile supply bags, sterile hold bags and
inlets/outlets for single-use bioreactors. For these
applications it is important to consider process
flow when designing your single-use system. For
example, when connecting a sterile harvest bag to a
single-use bioreactor, the best option is to specify
a combination connector, such as the AseptiQuik DC,
on the harvest bag, and a standard sterile connector
on the bioreactor harvest line. This configuration
is best for ensuring process integrity and
What Applications Benefit from The Utilization of
Integrated Combination Connectors That Combine
Sterile Connect and SIP Capability?
Additions to and transfers from stainless steel
bioreactors are the most common applications for
such connectors, especially for time and temperature
sensitive materials. Consider transferring inoculum
from a single-use, seed bioreactor into a production
scale stainless steel bioreactor. In theory, this
could be accomplished by specifying a SIP connector
as part of a custom single-use bioreactor. However,
waiting to complete the SIP cycle for that
connection could disrupt process flow. In this case,
an integrated combination connector like the
AseptiQuik STC acts as an adaptor that is steamed-on
in advance, allowing almost immediate inoculum
transfer at the proper time.
How Relevant are Integrated Combination
Connectors in India’s Bioprocessing Industry?
In recent years, many foreign drug manufacturers
have either acquired Indian firms or outsourced
their bioprocesses to India due to the country's
pool of scientists and engineers and availability of
cost-effective manufacturing capabilities. With the
influx of foreign investments, India's bioprocessing
industry has advanced, changing the competitive
landscape. Higher standards are being expected from
the region and Indian firms are challenged with
having to keep up with foreign standards and
regulations. In order to comply and compete
effectively, the Indian bioprocessing industry will
require solutions that enhance process accuracy and
flexibility. Integrated combination connectors are
examples of such solutions; allowing manufacturers
to establish combination connections with greater
peace of mind by reducing risks of contamination and
ensuring that chemical reactions are not damaged by
prolonged holding times as might be encountered in
traditional stainless steel systems.
Another uprising trend in India's bioprocessing
industry is generic drug manufacturing. Unlike
Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) manufacturing
where sterile conditions are not strictly enforced,
it is a requirement that generic drug manufacturing
is carried out under sterile conditions. The uses of
disposable, single-use instruments help
manufacturers achieve these conditions while meeting
the requirements of low cost. As generic drug
manufacturing gains traction in the Indian
bioprocessing industry, the use of disposable
bioreactors and single-use integrated combination
connectors will become increasingly widespread.
For Indian bioprocessing manufacturers looking to
venture into the more lucrative global market,
integrated combination connectors can also play a
significant role. Apart from contributing to
regulatory compliance, the ability of integrated
combination connectors to enhance process
flexibility and minimize complexity can help firms
manufacture products of better first-time quality.
With compliance assured and rework eliminated,
Indian bioprocessing manufacturers can reduce
unnecessary costs, focus their resources on
profitable research and carve a competitive edge.
Scientific American recently ranked the
countries of the world according to their capacity
to support biotechnology innovation, and India was
placed third from the last . The Indian
bioprocessing industry has vast potential for
improvements in this area. That said, Indian firms
need not fret over having to make hefty investments
and installing revolutionary changes. Todd has
reminded us that small changes, such as taking note
of critical links, can help Indian bioprocessing
firms attain efficiency and flexibility that are of
Will be a Life-Saving Drug Within the Common Man’s
million new cancer cases are diagnosed every year in
India, a major deterrent in dealing with the dreaded
disease is the high cost of treatment, which only a
few can afford. Others have no option but to prepare
themselves for a slow and painful death. But now
there is hope with Venus Remedies Ltd., a global
R&D-driven pharmaceutical company, coming up with a
patent-protected Drug which will help in curing
cancer through specific and selective targeting with
lesser side-effects. In an interview with Pharma
Review, Dr Manu Chaudhary, Director, Research, Venus
Medicine Research Centre, tells more...
How is the Drug-Protein-Polymer Conjugate
technology of Venus Remedies different from other
drugs available in the market?
While the market is flooded with a number of
anti-cancer drugs, molecular targeted therapies are
still not available. Drugs including Monoclonal
antibodies (MAB) are to some extent considered as
targeted but have serious limitations. The utility
of MABs is limited by a variable pharmacokinetic
distribution and a limited ability to diffuse across
tumours. Treatment with these drugs is costly as the
cost of development and therapy is very high and the
process is complicated. Moreover, these drugs cause
adverse effects such as breathlessness, faintness,
fluctuations in blood pressure and sometimes fatal
allergies. While providing limited relief, these
drugs also cause adverse side-effects as they tend
to damage the healthy cells along with the cancerous
ones. On the other hand, our novel, patent-protected
platform technology, a triple conjugate therapy will
help in curing cancer through specific and selective
targeting of small molecules directly at targeted
Additionally, due to delivery of drug directly at
the cancer site, the amount of drug required for
cure will be drastically reduced. This will not only
improve the patient compliance but will also reduce
the cost of therapy, hospitalisation charges,
treatment durations and expenses required to control
This platform technology holds its essence in its
significant potential to conjugate a wide range of
drugs. VRP-007 will be a life-saving drug within the
common man’s reach. Targeted delivery of the drug
will bring about a huge reduction in side-effects,
one of the main causes of cancer-associated
What is the clinical trial status of this
product? When is it likely to be introduced in the
VRP-007 is in the stage of pre-clinical
development, and the results have been quite
encouraging. It will take us about three to five
years to launch this drug in the market.
How do you rate the performance of Indian
companies when it comes to R&D in the oncology
The alarming rise in cancer cases has triggered
heavy investments in R&D of advanced solutions, but
a lot of ground remains uncovered in India where the
oncology market remains largely generic. Indian
pharma companies are doing reasonably well despite
the stiff competition from their foreign
counterparts. Most of the R&D (except that at Venus)
is being done either on biologicals or new chemical
entities. To the best of our knowledge VMRC is the
only working towards targeted delivery of small
How strong is your product portfolio in the
An emerging player in the oncology segment,
Venus Remedies has carved a niche for itself in this
segment with a portfolio of 21 injectables for
practically all cancer types, including star
products like Taxedol, Gemcitabine, Bortezomib,
Pemeterxed and Paclitaxel to name a few. We are also
coming up with a novel chemical entity for cancer
detection. This revolutionary research product will
be a first-of-its-kind advanced technology for the
early detection of cancer. An affordable cancer
detection kit, VRP1620 will bring down the
healthcare costs for cancer patients substantially
as the treatment of first-stage cancer works out to
be much cheaper.
is dedicated to the TLC/HPTLC field and has been
associated with Camag, Switzerland since 1978
Excerpts of an Interview with Mr.
Akshay Charegaonkar, Director of Anchrom
Enterprises, Specialist for HPTLC, since 1978.
Q : Tell
us about HPTLC.
A : High Performance Thin Layer Chromatography (HPTLC)
is the modern instrumental version of Thin Layer
Chromatography (TLC) the traditional method. Here
sample mixtures are separated into individual
fractions by chromatography on a thin layer of
adsorbent, for the purpose of identification,
quantification, fingerprint etc.
Q : What are its uses?
A : HPTLC is used in analysis of non - volatile
organic mixtures, pharmaceuticals, herbals, foods,
pesticides etc. in fact all branches of organic
chemistry to check purity, impurities, similarity
etc use HPTLC.
Q : How does it compare with HPLC?
A : HPLC and HPTLC are complimentary techniques
depending on the aim of analysis, one is better than
the other. Compared to HPLC, HPTLC is very rast,
“Visible”, low cost, low maintenance, high
throughput technique. HPLC has better resolution and
Q : How does that affect end users in India?
A : Well, wherever HPTLC is proved to be
applicable ( most of the time, it is), it proves to
be an asset. HPTLC’s main advantages in India are
simplicity, ease of use & maintenance, flexibility
of detection, modular investment in instrumentation.
Multiple users can use one HPTLC at the same time.
Once a HPTLC is purchased, a second one is seldom
required due to high throughput. ( In HPLC, as the
no. of samples increase, more and more machines have
to be bought). HPTLC can accept any sample without
worry, about system contamination. In fact, sample
clean up is minimum.
Q : Is
HPTLC an official pharmacoperial method?
A : Quantitative TLC was the method of choice in
all pharmacopeias in the 80’s before HPLC crept in.
But as 2015, the USP and PhEure have decided to use
it for “identification of materials of botanical
Q : So that is a qualitative test?
A : Yes. But the SOP prescribed in chapter 203
will be same for quantitative analysis, when it
comes, sooner or later. There are hundreds of
quantitative HPTLC publications and so of it is a
matter of time. Interview of Mr. Akshay Charegaonkar,
Q : Why is
( or was) HPTLC not so popular in the west?
A : Mainly for commercial reasons. HPTLC is not
automated “on line”. Each of its step is
individually automated, which gives it unique
features. In the west, labour is very expensive,
materials are cheap and vice versa in developing
countries. They want one analyst to handle several
instruments while we can afford several analysts to
run one high throughput instrument.
Q : In the light of HPTLC’s acceptance in USP/PhEur,
what should the Indian chromatographers do?
A : They should read and follow the USP/PhEur
SOP in all their HPTLC work. Such analysis methods
will be readily welcome all over the west, due to
its USP/PhEur backbone.
Q : Chromatographer from which fields of
A : Herbal and foods, to begin with.
Q : Is HPTLC being used by the regulatory
authorities in India?
A : Whether so called “official” or not, most of
them rely on HPTLC, especially those who have
installed it, know its indispensability.
Q : And finally, what is your message to the
Indian chromatographers community?
A : Make ( analytical methods) in India! After
all, we have Indian herbs and Indian foods. Why
depend on the west for their analysis methods? They
are not interested because they do not have problems
like poor quality consciousness, adulteration,
substitution, mislabelling, use of banned chemicals
Work and Focus on The Goal is The Key of Success for
Dr. B. D. Miglani in an exclusive
inteview with Ms. Shruti Tandon from Pharmacy
Department at GLA University, Mathura.
the first degree course of Pharmacy had been
formally started in 1937 and after 76 years what is
your opinion about the present scenario of Indian
The root of pharmacy education is Diploma in
Pharmacy, however, you have started asking me about
the degree course of Pharmacy. I would rather
highlight that the pharmacy education starts from
diploma in pharmacy. I consider the diploma in
pharmacy as root of the pharmacy
education/profession. You shall appreciate that
60-70% of the pharmacists get placement in community
and hospital pharmacy. The pharmacists on the
counter of retail pharmacy and hospital pharmacy are
holding diploma in pharmacy. Almost every patient
needs some or other medicine which they get from the
retail chemist shop or hospital pharmacy. These
pharmacists are not provided with enough knowledge
to cope up with the challenging duties of providing
drug information and counselling. The course
contents of the diploma in pharmacy have not been
revised since 1991 and thus, have become obsolete.
We should, therefore be more concerned with
imparting sound knowledge to the pharmacists at this
level. We have to find out mechanism of revising the
course contents frequently so as to cope up with new
responsibilities. There have been rapid academic
progress in pharmaceutical sciences and I do believe
that the present duration of the course is not
enough. We have to give top priority in upgrading
the diploma in pharmacy to degree level as minimum
qualification for registration of pharmacists. An
attempt was made in 2001 in this respect, however,
it failed due to the strong opposition by traders,
politicians and even our academic intellectuals. To
overcome the opposition of having 4 year degree
course as minimum qualification for registration we
may, as a compromise, think in term of having 3
years degree course in pharmacy practice after 10+2
which would go a long way in improving the
pharmaceutical knowledge of the pharmacists to take
care of the pharmaceutical care efficiently. I
cannot elaborate more due to time limitation and
conclude that unless and until we strengthen our
roots as suggested above, the profession of pharmacy
will go on declining.
Since Pharmacy education is coming under
technical course but why it’s not matches it’s part
with B.Tech courses in spite of the nobleness of
Pharmacy education was taken over by AICTE though
basically it is pharmaceutical course since
pharmacist is an integral part of health care. The
AICTE took over since they had lot of funds and
wanted to expand their activities. The stalwarts of
pharmacy profession accepted this take over since
they were not getting funds from the Health Ministry
to expand pharmacy education institutions to provide
required number of pharmacists for the various
fields of pharmacy profession. This take over had
been at a very high cost as the Ministry of Health
discontinued accepting the pharmacists as a member
of health team. Therefore, there is no question of
comparing pharmacy course with B.Tech. course.
According to 2010-2011 annual reports of Ministry
of Chemical and Fertilizers the growth rate of
Indian Pharmaceutical companies is increasing; then
also this fact fails to attract many students to
choose pharmacy as profession. Why so?
The pharmaceutical industry requires personnel with
specialization in basic sciences to take care of
research activities, engineers to take care of
installation of machinery, its running and
maintenance. Analytical work in standardization of
product is taken care by the scientists having
knowledge in chemistry as well as in electronic
equipment. It is mandatory provision of the Drugs &
Cosmetics Act to have pharmacists with experience to
take charge of the formulation activities. You will
appreciate that the demand of pharmacists in
pharmaceutical industry is limited one and,
therefore, fails to attract many students for the
same. The real growth of pharmacists requirement
would be seen in the field of pharmacy practice
which is being ignored for the present.
What are the effects of Generic Drugs on Pharmacy
Generic drugs which are manufactured in our
country are very much in demand all over the world
because of its less cost and better quality. We are
doing well in this field and thus, it provides
unlimited scope of pharmacy growth in India.
should be done in order to spread awareness about
benefits of pharmacy education among general public?
The general public has poor image about the
quality of pharmaceutical services being provided at
the retail pharmacy and hospital pharmacy. The
pharmacists at the counter do not turn up to their
expectations in terms of meeting drug information
requirement or counselling. I would, again stress
that we have to upgrade the educational level of the
registered pharmacists serving at these centres.
Once the image of the pharmacy is improved in
general public, only then they will think in terms
of sending their wards to pharmacy profession. The
message to spread awareness that pharmacy education
provides numerous job opportunities should be
communicated amongst general public through printing
and electronic media.
How the upgradation of pharmacy education can be
carried out along with the changing scenario?
I am again stating that the future of pharmacy
lies in its roots, i.e., pharmacy practice. I will
briefly say that the minimum education for
registration of pharmacist should be degree in
pharmacy, may be of three years duration, though
preferably it would be of four years duration, to be
known as Bachelor in Pharmacy Practice who would be
on the counter of retail pharmacy and hospital
pharmacy. These pharmacists with sound
pharmaceutical knowledge will be in a position to
earn good image from general public.
There should be effective accreditation system
for pharmaceutical teaching institutions.
The Pharmacy Council of India, who are basically
responsible for pharmacy education should ensure
proper inspection of the pharmacy teaching
institutions. I may say that teachers are made and
not born. We should, therefore, think in term of
having institute to train pharmacy teachers. Any
aspirant joining teaching profession should
mandatorily be sent to this institute for training
for a period of six to one year before he is allowed
to undertake teaching activity. Such aspirants may
have to give a bond for continuing teaching
profession for say at least five years.
Alternatively we may think in term of instituting
diploma/degree/post-graduate course in
pharmaceutical education of a suitable duration
which should be the mandatory qualification for
joining any teaching job in pharmacy.
How can the upcoming institute like GLA
University, modify the techniques of imparting
education to aspirant pharmacist. Please give us
some piece of advice?
The teaching faculty may be deputed to well
established/outstanding teaching institutions to get
acquainted with various new techniques adopted by
such institutions for imparting education to the
students. Teaching faculty should be encouraged to
participate in workshops, seminars, and conferences
on pharmaceutical education from time to time. They
should also be encouraged to present their research
work in various conferences. If GLA University
provides teachers with excellent academic
qualification and experience they will be doing
justice of imparting excellent education to aspirant
pharmacists in their institution. GLA University may
have visiting professor who would interact with the
teaching faculty of the University.
What changes are you experiencing in than now and
50 years from now in Hospital Pharmacy practice?
Fifty Years back the hospital pharmacy services
in India were in pathetic condition. The hospital
pharmacists were mainly compounders. These
compounders were registered as pharmacist on the
basis of some training and experience. Its only on
implementation of Pharmacy Act 1948, that person
possessing 2 years diploma in pharmacy after 10+2
were registered as pharmacists. You will appreciate
that this is a good progress made so far. With the
advent of time, many missionary hospitals,
prestigious institutes, AIIMS &like AIIMS and
corporate hospitals in Private Section like Appolo,
Max, Fortis, etc. have introduced modern hospital
services in many ways. In 1982 the first PG course
in hospital pharmacy was started in Delhi College of
Pharmacy [Now DIPSAR, Delhi]. Thereafter PG course
in pharmacy practice has been started in number of
pharmaceutical teaching institutions. Lately,
Pharm.D course has also been started in many
pharmaceutical teaching institutions. These
pharmacists once they get position in hospital and
in community pharmacy, the situation will improve
exorbitantly and we may be at par with the developed
countries in hospital pharmacy.
In India we must have backing of legal system to
make any headway in any filed. For the present, the
hospital pharmacy is exempted from all the
provisions of Drugs & Cosmetics Act, vide Schedule
‘K’. We have to bring changes in the Drugs &
Cosmetics Act so as to provide the minimum standard
in term of staff, space, equipment requirement and
making good pharmacy practices as mandatory. Once
this is done, I am sure hospital pharmacy shall be
at the top in time to come.
The Pharmacy community is celebrating 52nd
National Pharmacy Week. What is your message for the
young pharmacist on this celebration?.
Since 1962 National Pharmacy Week is being
celebrated across the country every year. I think,
this year’s theme is, “Pharmacists: A Healthcare
Professional”. Pharmacists are professionals,
uniquely prepared and available, committed to public
service and to the achievement of the goal of heath
care. Unfortunately, this does not get well
reflected in society.
My message to the young pharmacists is to remain
committed and dedicated to the profession of
pharmacy by providing efficient pharmaceutical care
to ailing community. Such commitment and dedication
shall ultimately procure good image of pharmacy in
Why should the youngsters choose pharmacy as a
Pharmacy is noble profession and it directly
related with the welfare of human life. This
profession provides you good opportunity for job
placement as well to serve the community by
providing proper pharmaceutical care. The pharmacy
profession provides you job opportunities in
pharmaceutical industry, hospitals and other health
care institutions. One can open their retail outlet
and earn a lot of money. Marketing also offers good
opportunities. Presently, post graduate and research
scholars are enjoying a good position in various
pharmaceutical industries, research institutes, and
give some piece of advice for students and young
Hard work and focus on the goal is the key of
success for any person. You have to choose one or
other speciality as your career and the proceed for
higher studies accordingly. Your commitment,
dedication and hard work will definitely bring
laurels of success.
"We Are Focusing to Develop Different SBUs to
Diversify and Expend Brands and to Reach to Every
Corner of The Country"
Excerpts of an Interview with Mr.
Asheesh Roy of Stadmed Pvt. Ltd., with Mr. Faroukh
Debu, Editor, The Pharma Review
Ltd is one of the leading pharmaceutical house of
Eastern India. The company started its operation in
the year 1940 in the name of Standard Medical
Research Institute founded by entrepreneur Late Gour
Later the name changed into Stadmed Pvt Ltd.
Under the able leadership and vision of the Founding
Father, Gour Gopal Saha, the organisation earned the
reputation of not only being one of the pioneers ,
but also one of the most innovative organisation in
the Eastern Region. The company was also the first
to produce Amino Acids cum enzyme preparation in
India.The block buster brands which gained
recognition from the medical fraternity like "ALKASOL,
PULMOCOD CG/PLAIN, AMINOZYME, ENTROZYME, are still
satisfying the ailing patients.
Stadmed owns two most modern state of the art
manufacturing plant with GMP and ISO 9001 : 2008
accredited by JAS-ANZ.producing formulations of
different speciality drugs.
Stadmed has initiated an R & D department to design
and develop different drug delivery system. The
company has a footprint across most of the states
except few and trying to expand its business across
all parts of the country.
The company believes in providing quality healthcare
products at most affordable price and extends social
welfare activities for economically backward classes
of patients also round the year.
Stadmed is the only pharmaceutical house of Eastern
India which had shown its courage to enter into the
chronic segments like Cardiology, Diabetology,
Psychiatry besides non chronic segments including
Gynaecology, Paediatrics, Surgery and Urology etc.
ZOLAM, BETA, LAMA, EMFOR, GLIZA MF, URISOL and
URSOLIC are few among them.
You are one of the oldest pharmaceutical
manufacturers in West Bengal. Please brief us about
your beginning and the journey so far.
Evolution of concept of serving ailing mass in
modern India took place in Kolkata ‘The City of
Joy’, way back in 1901 by Late Acharya Prafulla
Chandra Ray by setting up Bengal Chemicals &
Pharmaceutical Works Ltd. The untiring dedication to
produce quality medicines has showed the entire
country a new path for better health care system.
Kolkata has been the origin of many pharmaceutical
companies in pre-independence era, STADMED is one of
Standard Medical Research Institute was established
in the year 1940 by Late Gour Gopal Saha later the
name changed into STADMED Pvt. Ltd. I feel proud to
bear the torch and the mission to produce quality
medicines to provide better health that contributes
to build healthier nation. In STADMED we give
emphasis on value system for better implementation
What is the range of products you specialize in?
STADMED has brands of wide range in segments
viz. Urology, Gynaecology, Pediatrics, Surgery,
Cardiology, Diabetology, Neurology, Psychiatric &
Where are your units located and briefly describe
the facilities available?
STADMED owns two most modern state of the art
manufacturing plant with GMP and ISO 9001 : 2008
accredited by JAS-ANZ.producing formulations of
different specialty drugs.
What measures do you take for quality control of
STADMED has initiated an R & D department to
design and develop different drug delivery system.
How are you currently placed in the domestic
market? And your strategy in this competitive
At present STADMED is driving to increase its
prescriber base. Competition is intense but STADMED
with its capable field force trying to reach maximum
number of doctors. The activities are being
performed to build strong and good relationship with
the core prescribers.
Exports is a major focus area of Indian Pharma.
Which countries do you export to and what growth do
you see your position and plans for the
Presently we are concentrating in domestic market
considering the huge opportunity that exists.
What are your future plans?
We are more focusing to develop different SBUs
to diversify and expend brands and to reach to every
corner of the country. The highly accepted brands
like Alkasol, Pulmocod, Zolam, Pedic Drops/Syrup and
Entrozyme are growing and increasing market share
How do you see the Indian Pharma sector vis-a-vis
STADMED is having vision to achieve Rs.200 Crore
by 2020. Present pharmaceutical market in India
shows positive sign for growth. The small and medium
size Pharma Companies will play crucial role to
drive the market growth. STADMED is looking to
consolidate the market share with modern marketing
tools and better customer/doctor satisfaction.
Product Quality Is Assured As We Practice Quality
Approach In All The Areas of Manufacturing Operation
Excerpts of an Interview with Mr.
Pranay Patel of NPM Machinery Pvt. Ltd., with Mr.
Faroukh Debu, Editor, The Pharma Review
Give us a
background about your company?
NPM Machinery Pvt. Ltd. was incepted way back in
2004-05 with its ever famous name National Pharma
Machinery and kept operative with the same name till
2012. I believe evolution is a must wherever
positive energy floats. Enjoying a uniform trend of
progress and development in all the areas of
operation, National Pharma Machinery also got
rechristened in year 2012 as a Private Limited
entity keeping “NPM”, an abbreviated form of the
earlier name National Pharma Machinery, as a main
part of the new name.
Today, NPM is operative with a state of the art
manufacturing unit spread over around 70000 sq.ft at
Changodar, an industrial hub of the state of
Gujarat. Our core strength is a well-tuned work
force of around 110 dedicated and skilled personnel
and a highly equipped manufacturing unit. Starting
with the Pharmaceutical industry, today NPM provides
packaging solutions for bottling lines in almost
every industry where one or the other form of liquid
or powder products are being packed. Following the
success in Pharmaceutical industries, NPM has
achieved noticeable stand in many other industries
like Food & Beverages, Agro Chemicals, Lube Oil,
Edible Oil, Cosmetics, Home Care etc.
A healthy designing & development facility, modern
CNC machine shop & faster assembly lines are some of
the parameters enabling NPM to be the front line
company in its category of operation. Ensuring the
best quality, NPM is entrusted among its clientele
for fastest deliveries. Quality & Services too are
areas where in NPM always tends to be one step ahead
than expected. Following all the essential
engineering requirements of any machine building
industry and the stringent norms and qualification
criteria of the market, NPM is having a rich basket
of around 130 different models separated in over 20
diverse categories covering basic applications of
washing, filling, capping, labelling, conveying etc.
Above 700 small, medium & large national &
multinational companies are in NPM’s customer family
which is wide spread on the world map covering
around 30 countries.
What specific machine / production lines does
your company specialize in?
Complete lines for packaging of various liquid &
What is your company's top priority?
Customer satisfaction. We precisely monitor that
when a client enters in our family, never does
he/she exit. We ensure it too.
measures does your company take to maintain quality
All the best standards of industry are being
followed in our regular practice. However, there
exists our own method of identifying & understanding
the quality parameters, establishing control
parameters for them and following all of them
strictly to achieve best final quality product. Our
product quality is assured as we practice quality
approach in all the areas of manufacturing
Give us a
brief of the markets you are you catering to?
We enjoy our market share in more than 30
countries of Asia, Africa, Middle East, America,
Europe and Russia. Still our major market is our own
country and we serve around half of our production
to our clients based in India being a front runner
in our segment.
your expansion plans?
We are instrumental in expanding the range of
our products for Pharmaceutical Industry introducing
some more equipment to cover the areas of packaging
where we still have huge scope. Besides this,
further infrastructural & personnel expansion is
also lined up this year.
A brief on
the company's achievements / awards till date?
Every single client’s faith in it is the biggest
achievement for NPM till now. NPM is less
concentrated towards it’s own achievement but more
focused on the achievements what it’s every single
client gets after getting associated with it. As a
result, we, from time to time get rewarded by our
clients in form of testimonials which we believe are
not less than any recognized award.
Where do you think India stands today in the
Indian products of our segment are well accepted
and entrusted by almost all the continents today.
Whole world has its eyes on India for the best
solution with reasonably justifiable prices.
India's short comings according to you?
Not many but when we talk about overseas market,
most of the Indian products are lacking in features
related to sophistication & automation. On a
positive note, I believe this is one of the cause
which makes Indian products bit economical with
almost similar performance.
you see us by 2020?
We must expect some great change in India’s
position worldwide under the leadership of new
government having revolutionary thoughts. We are
confident as we already have witnessed it in our
state in the last decade.
Quality Is Investment And Good Investments Always
Manish Agarwal (COO) Kevin Process Technologies Pvt.
Ltd., in an exclusive interview with Mr. Faroukh
Debu, Editor, The Pharma Review
Give us a short brief about your company and the
Kevin is one of the leading pharmaceutical machinery
manufacturer with specialization in process
equipment, coating solutions, material conveying &
packaging and inspection. In India we are partners
to number of international market leaders in various
fields of Pharma applications, one of which is
Uhlmann Pac System GmbH, Germany, a world leader in
the field of pharmaceutical packaging.
What is your present role?
As a Unit Head (COO) of Kevin Packaging and
Inspection Division, I am responsible for Uhlmann
operations in India along with which I also head our
manufacturing of Blister Format Parts for Uhlmann
and other international blister machine suppliers.
Being purely a marketing person how difficult was
it to play a role in the production side?
It was a steep learning curve. If you want to grow,
you need to take up challenges and ensure you move
with changing times. In today’s environment unless
you do things which are different you can’t grow
beyond a point. I enjoyed every bit of it; working
with people makes you understand them better.
What specific machine/production lines does your
company specialize in?
As mentioned our core specialisation is in the
field of process equipment, coating solutions,
material conveying & packaging and inspection.
Give us a brief of the markets you
are you catering to?
We are leading exporters of our machinery across
the globe and domestic markets are also in our
focus. We are committed to provide best of products
and services to our customers. Today Indian markets
are recognised as some of the highest potential
markets globally and being an Indian company it is
our responsibility to offer solutions which can meet
our customer requirements. This is a big opportunity
and we are aware it.
Uhlmann being the best company in its field in
the world, give us a short synopsis of the structure
of the Uhlmann Group?
Uhlmann is respected globally for what they do,
a highly committed company to pharmaceutical
packaging, most innovative and always aspiring to
beat the set standards. They are dedicated to
pharmaceutical packaging and do not compromise on
any aspect of it.
How has the experience been working with the
best? And what specific difference can you measure?
You have to be lucky to be associated to the
best, you also carry a lot of responsibility as you
are believed for what you are and it takes immense
efforts and hard work to stay ahead of competition.
You have to think ahead, you have to be truthful to
your customers, even if it means losing business.
The word best does not only means best product, it
also means the best buying experience, dealing with
some of the best people in the industry. Finally the
company becomes best because of its people, its
systems and procedures and of course its product
line. I am proud of my company and its product line.
How different & difficult/easy is it to sell in
the market when you working for the best?
Selling is difficult, and when you are working
in price conscious markets it becomes all the more
important. But you have to understand that you are
selling a complete solution, not just a product.
It’s a concept selling and you need to match your
advantages to customer requirements. In most of the
cases it might look a costly product, but if you
indulge in cost vs advantage analysis it might look
different. You need to consider you payback periods,
cost of non-compliance, breakdown time and you will
realise that a good product will always score.
But, I do agree it’s not easy, you have to work hard
- very hard.
What measures does your company take to maintain
We are very conscious about our quality
standards; we have a full-fledged quality assurance
department which is provided with some of the best
and most advance instruments to ensure that whatever
rolls out meets our set standards. In today’s market
conditions with so many available options, the thing
which will keep you in business is good quality and
consistency. Quality is an investment and good
investments always pay.
What is your company's top priority?
At Kevin, our top priority is to be a leading
global player with respectable market share, be
respected for whatever we produce and most important
be good employers. You can’t win unless you have a
Where do you think India stands today in the
Pharma machinery segment is fully dependent on
the progress of pharmaceutical industry in India,
and the situation is not bad at all. Today our
industry is showing a steady growth and
consolidation of its position in global markets. We
are one of the leading manufacturers of quality
pharmaceuticals and currently stand 4th with respect
to installed capacities. Our focus to exports has
resulted in substantial exports to developed
markets. This has resulted in demand for quality
equipment and services, that’s where we have an
opportunity and path to excel.
Indian equipment are well accepted internationally
and respected for their quality price ratios. Our
equipment are reliable and meet regulatory
What are India's short comings according to you?
We have a long way ahead of us. Though we are
considered reliable suppliers, but when it comes
automation and aesthetics we need to improve.
Secondly, we are still not selling much to big
multinationals where the preference is still for
Where do you see us by 2020?
Next six years we need to invest on quality, up
gradation, consolidation and market creation. We
have to establish ourselves as leading global
players not only in pharmaceuticals but also in
field of machinery and other related fields. The
market is wide open, the margins for all major
international players is shrinking, and with our
cost advantage clubbed with reliable quality can
make all the difference. Next few years are
important for us both for domestic and international
business. We need to focus on our core strengths and
be aggressive and committed in markets.
PharmaTech Pipeline of Oncology Products
Investorideas.com, a global
news source for leading sectors including biotech
and pharma issues an exclusive interview with Dr.
Madi R. Madiyalakan, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer
of Quest PharmaTech Inc. (TSX.V: QPT). Dr.
Madiyalakan shares insight into the Company’s
pipeline of oncology products. The Company takes a
unique approach to cancer treatment that capitalizes
on the recent major advances in the understanding of
immune physiology and developing proprietary next
generation cancer immunotherapy treatments using
select antibodies, adjuvants and photosensitizers.
1. For readers unfamiliar with your company, can
you give a brief introduction on your background in
the biotech space and the formation of Quest
I have been involved in the Biotech industry for
over 27 years, first as a scientist at Biomira Inc
(now known as Oncothyreon) and then as a founding
executive team member of several biotech companies
including, AltaRex Corp., CanBiocin Inc. and
SonoLight Pharmaceuticals Corp. My relationship with
Quest began when Quest PharmaTech acquired SonoLight
Pharmaceuticals in 2001. That acquisition provided a
path forward for technology I had invented and
championed ([Dr. Madiyalakan holds 10 primary U.S.
patents and eight pending patents]). I have been
instrumental in raising more than $200 million
through private placement and public offerings for
those companies. I specialize in advancing novel
technologies with great therapeutic potential in
areas of unmet medical need.
Quest was started as a research and development
company in 1998 and was listed on the TSX Venture
Exchange in 1999. I have been CEO of the Company
2. Can you briefly describe the current product
portfolio and the primary oncology focus for each?
Our technology is focused on the immunotherapy
of cancer. We utilize tumor directed monoclonal
antibodies to activate the specific immunity;
however we recognize that successful therapy
requires orchestrated combination with chemotherapy,
photodynamic therapy and select additional immune
modulators or adjuvants. Our lead product,
Oregovomab, which is currently completing a phase II
clinical trial in both Italy and the U.S., is used
in combination with standard chemotherapy in ovarian
cancer patients. It is also being tested in
combination with other immunotherapeutic agents for
use in treating pancreatic cancer patients. Our
pipeline also includes proprietary antibodies
against other cancer markers, most notably MUC1, PSA
and HER2. We expect to advance our MUC1 targeting
antibody into the clinic in the coming year. MUC1
expressing cancers include many commonly occurring
solid cancers such as breast, pancreatic and lung
We are also very excited about our new pipeline of
therapeutic IgE antibodies, which we recently
acquired from Advanced Immune Therapeutics, Inc. and
for which we obtained license rights from UCLA and
Stanford University. In addition to their
immunotherapeutic potential, these molecules also
have the potential to act in the tumor
micro-environment to augment the effectiveness of
chemotherapy. We truly believe that the IgE
technology will be a breakthrough for the treatment
3. Can you discuss the current status of your
flagship product OREGOVOMAB and its applications in
Quest’s proprietary approach uses antibodies to
modulate and enhance specific immunity to the target
tumor antigen and associated tumor. Recent insights
into the ability of cytotoxic therapy to enhance
immunity, and the development of novel adjuvant
approaches, suggests that a simple and artful
approach using a combination of components for
specific cancer immunotherapy can change the
clinical course of cancer. We are using our lead
product Oregovomab as an example to demonstrate the
proof of concept for the combinatorial
immunotherapeutic approach and trying to identify
ideal combinations by conducting three different
clinical trials. The most advanced of these is an 80
patient phase II clinical trial in advanced ovarian
cancer patients that is being conducted in 13
clinical centers in Italy and the U.S. We hope the
results from this trial will confirm the findings in
an earlier study that shows combining chemotherapy
with Oregovomab leads to the generation of specific
anti-cancer T-cells and the potential for clinical
benefits. We are also conducting another clinical
trial in the U.S. using Oregovomab in combination
with another chemotherapeutic agent, Gemcitabine,
together with radiation therapy for treating
pancreatic cancer. The trial will help us to expand
the market opportunities for Oregovomab to other
CA125 expressing cancers as well as to evaluate
immunotherapy in combination with chemo
radiotherapy. We are also looking at the addition of
an immunoadjuvant, Hiltonol, a TLR3 agonist, which
we have licensed from a U.S based company, Oncovir,
to further augment the immune response. The
completion of these 3 clinical trials will provide
us with the roadmap for commercialization of this
product. To summarize, Quest’s approach has created
an opportunity to mobilize immunity, better, more
precisely and for less cost than other methods that
are in development, and, or, recently approved.
4. Can you give us some background
on the key members of your team and the scientific
board and the expertise they bring to the company?
Working with me on the management team, I have
Thomas Woo, Vice President of Product Development
since 2002. Thomas honed his drug development skills
at Biomira, AltaRex and Cytovax. My CFO, Pierre
Vermette, comes with extensive experience gained at
the Alberta Securities Commission and has been with
the Company since 2003.
On the Board of Directors, I have Lorne Meikle, our
Chairman, Ian McConnan, our Audit Committee Chair
and Paul Van Damme, our Corporate Governance Chair.
Mr. Meikle has an extensive background in the life
sciences area, Mr. McConnan is a former partner of
several public accounting firms, and Mr. Van Damme
has acted in the CFO role for a number of public and
On the Company’s Scientific Advisory Board, I have
internationally known scientists who occupy
important positions in various institutions around
the world. Dr. Samuel Abraham, Ph.D., is the Vice
President of Research with the British Columbia
Cancer Agency. Professor Ki-Jun Hwang is a well
respected medicinal chemist at Chonbuk University in
South Korea. One of the clinicians, Dr. Ronald
Moore, who is developing a unique treatment for
prostate cancer at the Cross Cancer Institute in
Canada, is also one of our scientific advisory board
members. Dr. Moore, along with Dr. Gerald Miller in
Australia, provide a strong scientific direction to
our photodynamic therapy program.
On the Company’s Clinical Advisory Board (CAB), I
have Dr. Christopher Nicodemus, a clinical expert in
tumor immunology and drug development who has been
championing the combinatorial immunotherapeutic
approach supported by numerous publications and
patents. He relies on the advice of his fellow CAB
members, key opinion leaders such as Professor
William McGuire in the U.S, Professor Ignace Vergote
in Belgium and Dr. Thomas Ehlen in Canada.
All members of the CAB have a keen interest in
innovative improvements in the area of ovarian
cancer and see a great opportunity to advance the
previous learning with Oregovomab in the context of
combination therapies that will better access the
immune response and limit immune suppression that
has impeded earlier efforts to vaccinate against
5. Can you share with readers the significance of
some of your key relationships including Stanford
University and UCLA?
We are very pleased to be licensing IgE
technologies developed by the distinguished
scientists from these prestigious institutions. In
addition, we are also working closely with the
Eppley Cancer Institute at the University of
Nebraska to develop animal models and complete
pre-clinical testing of potential drug candidates.
6. With all biotech companies, funding is a key
factor to success; last November you announced a
$1million placement for Quest PharmaTech. Can you
explain the significance of this round of financing
and where this takes you to?
We wanted to strengthen our relationship with
our long term investment partner, AD Biotech Co.,
Ltd. AD Biotech has committed $12 Million to fund
our ongoing clinical programs during the next two
years. We were pleased with their confidence in
Quest as demonstrated by their investment of $1
Million at a premium share price.
7. In closing what are some of the key milestones
for 2014 for Quest PharmaTech?
Some of the key 2014 milestones we hope to
achieve in the coming year include completing
patient enrollment of the Oregovomab clinical trial
and obtaining preliminary data for the Oregovomab
clinical trial in Italy and US; initiating a
clinical study combining Oregovomab with
immuno-adjuvants; expanding the Company’s
opportunities for revenue generation through product
sales of some evidence based over-the-counter
nutraceutical and cosmetic products licensed from
our joint venture partner; generating critical
additional data demonstrating the therapeutic
potential of our proprietary IgE portfolio; and,
pursuing out-licensing arrangements as a source of
additional revenue and validation for our
Quality Product is Our Speciality Which Made Us
Leader in Different Pharma Packaging Products
From an Exclusive Interview with Mr. Jayesh Shah of
the Bharat Rubber Works Pvt Ltd.
1. You being one of the pioneers in the Pharma
Packaging Industry in India, please tell us about
the beginning of your company and the journey till
Our Company Bharat Rubber works started in 1978
and we have focused on Primary Pharmaceutical
Packing items in Rubber and Plastic. According to
the times and availability of technology we always
stayed ahead by upgrading our company and ourselves.
We believe in top most quality and make high quality
products to satisfy our customers. Our Customers who
has made us Number 1 in Asia for products like
Dropper Sets and Rubber Stoppers as well Plastic
Products widely used by National and International
Pharma companies in India and around the world.
2. Kindly tell us about any specific achievements
of Bharat Rubber?
Till 1999 the turnover was 8 to 9 cr with 5% of
turnover contributed by exports of our products but
post 1999 the company started moving on the fast
trackand today our company has reached a turnover of
40 cr with 40% of it from exports in different parts
of the world.We have also achieved the certificate
as Govt. Recognized Export House. The company has
ultra modern facility for manufacturing the products
as per International standards with highly qualified
3. What is the range of products you specialize
We manufacturer the entire range of Dropper Assembly
in Plastic and Glass, all kinds of Rubber Stoppers
and Diagnostics Rubber Parts. We are also into the
different type of Plastic articles like cups, spoons
and caps and have around 80% of the Pharma packaging
under one roof with state of art facility.
4. Quality control would be your top priority.
Would you please elaborate on this?
Quality Products is our speciality which made us
leader in different Pharma packaging products. We
are maintaining very high standards of Quality and
our products pass through long and detailed quality
checks during the manufacturing process till the
product packing stage. In Rubber stoppers we are
maintaining very high standards and provide Ready to
Sterile Rubber Stoppers & Ready to use Rubber
Stoppers which is the need of today’s Pharma
Industry. Our company is certified with ISO
9001:2008 certification and we are in process of ISO
15378, even we are DMF registered company.
5. How has the technology changed in this field
in the last few years?
Regarding technology we always look forward to see
what is next and constantly upgrade ourselves to
meet the future needs of Pharma companies. We have
high speed modern machines which gives us ‘No man
Touch Products’ to avoid contamination. I would like
to thank all our customers whose support has helped
us in upgrading our facilities.
6. How are you currently placed in the Indian and
the international market?
In India we are leaders in the market with best of
Quality and best manufacturing facilities. In local
market we are catering to more than 60% share. Our
packaging products used by Indian Pharma Companies
are well accepted by the countries where they export
their Finished Formulations.
In exports we have many countries where we are
supplying 80% of their requirement of their Pharma
companies. As I mentioned earlier we are Number 1 in
Asia for products like Dropper Sets and Rubber
7. Which countries do you export your products
We are presently exporting to South East Asia, all
over African countries, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Egypt,
Yemen, Muscat, Iraq, Bangladesh, Germany, Belgium,
South America etc.
8. Any specific future Plans?
We have already started our New Plant in October,
2013 with the Name of BHARAT PLASTOPACK PVT. LTD.
with increased Production Capacity and some New
Products. By 2017 we target to be a 100 Cr company.
DRYTECH PROCESSES (I) PVT. LTD. is also our group
company having 5 different spray drying plants. The
facilities are dedicated for different individual
category of products. We are specialized in art of
spray drying which is Asia’s largest manufacturer of
Spray dried Gum Arabic / Gum Acacia.
We also manufacture fruit and vegetable powders,
seasoning ingredients, milk proteins / caseinates,
natural colourants, fat powders, soluble dietary
fibre & nutraceutical products etc.,
We are the best co-partners for spray drying and
co-packing of infant and clinical nutrition. Our
range of products serves various segments of the
food industry such as flavor, beverages,
confectionery, bakery, savory, infant – sports
nutrition etc., shortly we will be coming up with
expanded capacity to cator the consistently rising
9. Any suggestions for change in any Govt. policy
with relation to your industry.
Government should give us better incentives in
exports and try to keep control in local raw
material market price. They can also reduce import
duty of our raw materials, so that we can be more
competitive in local as well International markets.
Believes in Building Relationships Rather Than
Clients or Customers
Congratulations on completing 50 years in the
Industry. You are known as the pioneer in the Pharma
Machinery Industry in India. Please tell us about
the achievements of your company.
Thank you very much Faroukh for the honour and thank
you for having this session. It’s always a pleasure
talking to you.
From the very beginning at UEC we tried to build
relationships rather than clients or customers. We
always try to provide the best quality in all
aspects of the business be it machines, service or
Our clients are our achievements. Most
pharmaceutical companies in India being a UNITED
machine user, does add to the credentials of the
And definitely, the hard work and efforts of the
members of the company does play a very crucial role
in making The United Engineering Company, what it is
2. What kind of machinery do you specialize in?
We specialize in machinery for packaging ampoules,
vials and bottles. We provide a complete solution
for the whole production line. Our product ranges
from semi-automatic to fully automatic machines. We
also specialize in machines for tablet coating.
‘UNITED’ machines are versatile in nature and thus
can accommodate containers of different shapes &
Pharma engineering being our forte, we have also
been at the service of other industries.
We also provide our customers the best and advanced
customized engineered solution.
3. What are your latest developments?
We are always keen on upgrading our existing
machines in parlance to the new developments. We
believe that tomorrow’s technology should be a
standard in every UNITED machine produced today.
Our latest development is the UNITED ‘EAC’ -
Automatic External Cleaning & Drying Machine for
Ampoules & Vials. This machine plays a very big role
in improving the productivity of an automatic
inspection machine in the production line. We have
developed High Speed Automatic Sticker Labelling
Machines for Vials & Ampoules, with special unique
features as well.
We are also are planning for developing Automatic
Cartoning Machines for containers of various sizes
in the near future.
Presently, we are working on the development of a
High Speed Rotary Ampoule Filling and Sealing
Machine with features galore. It would be the most
compact machine, in fact the first of its kind in
4. Quality control would be your top priority,
would you please elaborate on this.
From a nut to the main component of the machine,
we provide the best quality material complying with
the highest standards of manufacturing guidelines.
We perform on quality checking program for each &
every machine before being dispatched.
Hence, Quality Control does form a crucial part of
our validation program.
5. Which countries do you export your machines
We are doing well in the overseas market. We
export mostly to South African & Asian countries.
Yet we have supplied a few machines to U.S.A and
Canada as well. Presently we are looking forward to
extend our horizons to the European and other
6. How has technology changed in this field in
the last few years?
In the last few years, this field has seen a
favorable metamorphosis in technology. Automation of
machines have improved to a new dimension which adds
a lot to the productivity of the machines. This also
helps the user to get a clear view on the overall
performance and utility of the machines.
7. How are you currently placed in the Indian &
the International market?
In India, we are considered to be one of the
best and trusted brands in the Industry.
Internationally, ‘UNITED’ machines also has a good
8. 50 years, a long time, what are your future
We are planning to increase our production
capacity by starting a new plant, incorporating
modern equipments and state of the art facilities.
50 years is a long time, but for UEC, entering the
50 years, is the beginning of a new journey. Much
more to do and many lucrative avenues to explore.
The only plan is to work harder, beating the present
and excel much more in future.
9. How do you see Indian Pharma Vis-à-vis Vision
As per the reports of 2013, the Indian Pharma
Industry ranks 3rd in terms of volume and 13th in
terms of value compared to other countries. Within
seven years, we hope that there would be a huge
penetration of modern medical facilities,
development of new generics which would help in
curing deadly diseases, thus leading Pharma Industry
to its peak.
interview with Dr. Bhavana Pharik, Consultant,
Medical Oncologist, BNH HCG Cancer Center, Mumbai
1. What are the causes for the rising
incidence in Mumbai?
The causes: there are certain external factors like
adoption of westernized lifestyle. Lack of physical
activity, obesity, excess of unhealthy food, use of
tobacco and alcohol, late pregnancies or no
pregnancies, exposure to some form of radiation. All
these put together have increased risk of cancer for
people in Mumbai.
2. The first 3 a common cancers found
in women---what about the others --the causes?
The three most common cancers in women are: Breast
cancer, Cervical Cancer and tobacco related cancer.
The causes are same as mentioned above.
3. What is optimal therapy?
Today, treatment of any patient with cancer requires
multi disciplinary team approach. This includes
comprehensive diagnostic facilities, team of Medical
oncologist, Surgical Oncologist and Radiation
oncologist. Targeted therapy is a newer type of
cancer treatment that uses drugs or other substances
to identify precisely and attack cancer cells, with
minimal damage to normal cells. Targeted therapy is
a growing part of the multi-modality cancer
treatment regimens that include chemotherapy,
surgery, and radiation therapy. Now the world is
moving to targeted therapies, which is the practice
at BNH HCG Cancer Center . Targeted therapies have
limited toxicity and target the cancer cells which
carries the specific receptors. We need to assess
the presence of the receptors prior to start of
therapy with these targeted drugs.
4. What is breast conservation
For a patient diagnosed with breast cancer, losing
the breast affects her psychologically, physically
and mentally. With advancements in cancer care
treatment, we are able to preserve the breast as
quality of life is as important as survival. Also,
currently we have better screening modalities, where
we can diagnose the disease in early stages. Breast
conservation surgeries will improve the quality of
life and social well being. Advances in chemotherapy
have also benefitted, where we can shrink large size
tumors and with breast conservation protocols we can
preserve the organ, with better medical outcomes.
5. Does the centre also counsel
Counselling and rehabilitation are part and parcel
of treatment! We have a team of counsellors who help
patients go through the treatment as well as recover
from this illness.
6. What is the cost involved?
The cost can vary depending on the stage of the
disease, chemotherapy drugs required, type of
surgery as well as radiation. For an early stage
disease, the cost may be approximately Rs. three
7. Please share a few case studies.
A. A woman presented with ascites which was found to
be malignant. On further investigations, it was
confirmed to be primary ovarian cancer. She was
treated successfully with surgery as well as
chemotherapy. Within a period of six months of
completion of her treatment, the patient's daughter
presented with a lump in her left breast. This was
confirmed to malignant. The daughter was also
treated with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
Thus, this is a classic example of a Familial Cancer
(Breast Ovarian cancer syndrome).
b. A middle-aged man
presented with a non-healing ulcer over his left
chest wall. The biopsy confirmed it to be Breast
cancer! Male Breast Cancer occurs rarely but must be
kept in mind. This patient underwent surgery as well
as chemotherapy just like any woman with breast
An exclusive interview with Mr Lee Eng Keat,
International Director, Asia Pacific, SEDB Singapore
1. How have the research institutes and research
consortia in Singapore contributed to growth in the
2. What kind of progress has been achieved in the
field of clinical research?
Singapore’s vision is to be the Biopolis of Asia, a
leading international biomedical sciences cluster
where companies can impact global health by
achieving excellence and synergies across R&D,
manufacturing and headquarter activities. Currently,
global companies and Asian enterprises alike are
already using Singapore as a beachhead in Asia. This
includes 8 of the top 10 pharmaceutical and all of
the top 10 medical technology companies, which have
their regional headquarters in Singapore, from which
to drive business expansion in Asia., Today, more
than 7,100 researchers carry out biomedical sciences
R&D – across drug discovery, translational and
clinical research – in more than 50 companies, our
universities and 30 public sector institutes under
the Agency for Science, Technology and Research
(A*STAR) and the Ministry of Health (MOH).
Collectively, more than S$1.51 billion is spent on
biomedical R&D annually. To support the growing
outsourcing needs of pharmaceutical firms, Singapore
is also home to more than 14 Contract Research
Organisations (CROs) including Quintiles’
Asia-Pacific Innovation Centre, ICON, Covance, PPD
Looking ahead, Singapore has committed S$16.1
billion in continued support of research, innovation
and enterprise activities between 2011 and 2015. Out
of the S$16.1 billion, S$3.7 billion (23%) is
dedicated to enhancing existing biomedical R&D
infrastructure, integrating multi-disciplinary
research and translating basic science into tangible
The Singapore government has provided leading
infrastructure to facilitate translational and
clinical research, such as the three Investigational
Medicine Units (IMU) dedicated for early-phase
trials in public hospitals, as well as the Singapore
Clinical Research Institute (SCRI), which focuses on
supporting later-stage trials.
On top of the local clinical networks, Singapore
established Clinical Trials Networks across the
Asia-Pacific, including the Asia-Pacific
Hepatocellular Carcinoma (AHCC) Trials Group, Family
Medicine Research Network (FMRN), Pan-Asian
Resuscitation Outcomes Study (PAROS) Clinical
Research Network (CRN) and the Cancer Therapeutics
Research Group (CTRG), a multi-institutional
research collaboration in global oncology
development which involves international
institutions like the National University
Hospital/National University of Singapore, Sydney
Cancer Centre/University of Sydney, Johns Hopkins
Singapore International Medical Centre, Chinese
University of Hong Kong and Singapore National
3. Which factors have attributed to global companies
like GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis setting up their
clinical centres in Singapore?
Singapore’s ongoing commitment to develop
translational and clinical research capabilities and
interdisciplinary research for drug development,
maintain a pool of global R&D talent located in
world-class research infrastructure, and upkeep a
strong IP regime to protect R&D outcomes gives
companies the confidence to internationalise through
With a reputation for its clinical research and
clinical trials management activities in Asia,
Singapore is also the secretariat for the APEC
Coordinating Centre for Good Clinical Practice (GCP),
playing a major role in developing GCP in Asia,
initiatives to train of clinical research personnel
and developing a conducive environment for
multi-site clinical trials in the region. Due to all
these factors, global pharmaceutical brands such as
GSK, Novartis and Sanofi have set up their regional
clinical trial centres in Singapore. Efficient
regulatory approvals in Singapore now take between 3
to 6 weeks to receive approval for clinical trials.
Singapore’s multi-racial population representative
of the population in Asia serves as a good test bed
for different Asian disease burdens. These factors
coupled with Singapore’s high level of quality and
medical standards are factors that attract global
MNCs to base their clinical centres here. Many
global pharmaceutical brands have set up their
regional clinical trial centres in Singapore, which
include: GSK established its first Academic Centre
of Excellence in Singapore and its first four
projects were focused on early-stage research in
ophthalmology, regenerative medicine and neuro-degeneration
to elucidate new mechanisms of action for innovative
medicines. Also partnering with A*STAR, research
institutes and hospitals, Novartis had joined hands
with the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute,
and The Scripps Research Institute and developed a
new drug against malaria.
4. How has A*Star contributed to clinical research
Over the past 20 years, Singapore has steadily built
a strong foundation of basic and clinical research
through its 30 research institutes under the Agency
for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR).
One such institute is the Bioinformatics institute (BII)
which was established for computational biology
research and postgraduate training as well as a
national resource centre in bioinformatics. Another
institute is the Bioprocessing Technology Institute
(BTI) whose mission is to develop manpower
capabilities and establish cutting-edge technologies
relevant to the bioprocess community. Spearheading
bioprocess R&D, the BTI specializes in expression
engineering, animal cell technology, stem cells,
microbial fermentation, product characterisation,
downstream processing, purification and stability,
with supporting proteomics and microarray platform
technologies. Also, the Genome Institute of
Singapore (GIS) is a national flagship initiative
with a global vision that seeks to use genomic
sciences to improve public health and prosperity.
In June 2013, Pfizer, GSK and Siemens signed on as
founding members of a new consortium set up by
Singapore’s A*STAR’s Institute for Chemical and
Engineering Sciences (ICES)’s Innovative Processing
of Specialties and Pharmaceuticals (iPSP) to address
various challenges such as costs, regulatory
compliance and responsiveness in production and
processes to bring drugs from trials to markets.
5. What initiatives have been undertaken by the
government of Singapore to provide a strong
foundation to the pharma and healthcare sector?
Rising healthcare costs in the G3, and emerging
Asian markets, have payers and regulators demanding
safe and cost-effective products. This provides an
impetus for companies to transition from selling
drugs/devices to selling positive treatment outcomes
that are cost effective. Decreasing R&D productivity
& continuing sales drop off from blockbusters due to
the patent cliff mean that pharmaceutical companies
are transitioning from blockbuster drugs to
precision medicine, and restructuring their R&D
organizations. This includes smaller in-house teams
and a greater reliance on external partners to
accelerate commercialization and co-share risk. This
is where Singapore, a trusted location from which
companies can manufacture high quality drugs for
global and Asian markets across various modalities
with peace of mind, can play a role.
Companies can better assess and access diverse Asian
markets, by partnering with Singapore’s public and
private sector players to improve understanding of
market needs, regulatory landscapes and policies.
Singapore offers an integrated Translational
Clinical Research (TCR) ecosystem for companies to
access cutting edge and targeted R&D by establishing
new models of public and private collaborations.
S$600m in the Industry Alignment Fund (IAF) to
support public sector researchers in their
collaborations with industry
A Biomedical Sciences Industry Partnership Office
(BMS IPO) was set up as a single point of contact
for matching companies’ R&D needs, to expertise in
Singapore’s research hospitals, as well as academic
and public research institutions.
In 2011, Maccine inked a collaboration with A*STAR’s
Singapore Bioimaging Consortium to form a
comprehensive Translational Imaging Industrial Lab (TIIL)
to push the boundaries in state-of-the-art
preclinical imaging to enhance the drug development
The government has undertaken numerous initiatives
to provide a strong footing to the pharmaceutical
industry in Singapore. The government provides
awards like the Singapore Translational Research (STaR)
Investigator Award, to recruit and nurture
world-class clinician scientists to undertake
translational and clinical research in Singapore.
Another initiative is the Clinician Scientist Award
(CSA), which provides research funding and salary
support to enable medical researchers to devote more
time to research.
The Competitive Research Programme helps to identify
new potential strategic research areas in which
Singapore can invest, particularly the biomedical
sciences translational and clinical research areas.
Each award is for a maximum of S$10 million per
programme, over three to five years. Also, The
Health Services Research (HSR) Competitive Research
Grants were established in 2009 to promote the
conduct of HSR and enable the translation of HSR
findings into policy and practice.
For Asian and global companies in the pharmaceutical
and biotechnology sectors, Singapore represents a
thriving global R&D hub that stands at the forefront
of innovative solutions in the field of drug
development and discovery.
6. Where do India or Indian pharmaceutical companies
stand in your entire global profile?
7. Does SEDB have any plans of setting up any joint
ventures in India in the research field - bio and
Singapore is a trusted location for Indian companies
to access and manage global markets. More than 4,000
Indian enterprises have incorporated in Singapore,
with a growing number basing their regional or
international headquarters there to coordinate
overseas operations. Indian companies tap on
Singapore’s strong pool of multi-disciplinary talent
and business-friendly policies to drive their
growth. For example, Fortis Healthcare, one of
India’s largest healthcare companies, has
established its international headquarters in
Singapore and recently announced plans to list its
clinical establishment division on the Singapore
In Singapore, Indian companies can access a global
talent base, unique patient pools representative of
all major Asian genotypes (Chinese, Malay and
Indian) and forge collaborations with the
Singapore-based research community. Notably, in
August 2012, Singapore’s Agency of Science,
Technology and Research (A*STAR) signed an MOU with
India’s Department of Science and Technology to
drive greater cooperation between the two countries
with joint workshops and grant calls. Indian
companies can partner Singapore institutions for
innovative development of new medicines, formulation
capabilities and drug delivery mechanisms.
Singapore has invested heavily in Asia-prevalent
diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes,
gastric cancer and dengue. As some of these
diseases have a high incidence in Indians, leading
Indian pharmaceutical companies have expressed
interest to work with Singapore clinical
institutions to develop new drugs for these
EDB continues to engage and understand leading
Indian pharmaceutical companies’ evolving
internationalisation needs in order to explore
win-win partnerships with Singapore. With Asia's
best healthcare system and world-class medical
practice, Singapore continues to be committed to
co-create innovative healthcare solutions with
leading company partners.
With the rise of Ideal Cures as a major player in
film coating industry, the monopoly of MNC has been
broken down which has immensely benefitted the
Indian Pharma industry.
receiving of US patent relating to aqueous film
coating composition based on sodium alginate of
application in pharmaceutical and Nutraceutical –
tablets, caplets, pellets and granules, Mr.Suresh
Pareek MD. and Mr. Chetan Rajsharad (VP-Technical)
Ideal Cures, gave an exclusive interview to The
begin with we would like to congratulate you on
receiving the US patent in film coating technology.
What does it simply?
US patent awarded to Ideal Cures in Feb. 2012 is the
first US patent awarded to any Indian company
dealing with film coating technology. This is a
major achievement for the company as it provides a
booster shot to our R&D team. The company which has
been focusing on developing newer products and has
taken a challenge to become a science driven world
class organization, this is a milestone
recognisation to our vision and efforts &
investments in R&D. We already have a strong R&D
team and IPR department which are committed to bring
out newer, user friendly and cost effective products
for solving any film coating related problems for
Food and Pharma industry. Today Ideal Cures is the
only company who has been able to formulate a very
user friendly aqueous film coating product using a
natural polymer – Sodium Alginate and put such a
product in market.
you please tell us little more about this technology
said Sodium Alginate is a natural polymer, it was
thought to be difficult to use it for robust coating
process. Infact there are reports available in
literature where scientists have tried to use it for
film coating but failed without the use of some
additional synthetic polymer. Mr Chetan Rajsharad
(VP-Technical) says that Sodium Alginate is a
natural polymer whereas almost all the commonly used
polymers for film coating are synthetic ones, we
took it as a challenge to develop Sodium Alginate as
a suitable polymer for film coating. I am proud on
my R&D team which has come out with an excellent
product in which all the ingredients used have GRAS
status and is equally useful for Pharma as well as
Food industry. This technology has been recognized
as a significant advancement in film coating as we
have been awarded an Indian patent and now a US
patent for this product."
is this technology going to help your
overall business ?
technology is based on water as the solvent, hence,
it is environment friendly (not using any toxic
solvents), moreover, this is more productive than
commonly used HPMC based coating technology. We have
run coating trials in the same set-up using this
technology as well as the HPMC based systems, this
new technology was found to be significantly faster
and productive. We expect that this technology will
prove to be a problem solver on shop-floor. Further,
being GRAS material, the registration process for
new products as well as the re-registration of older
products should be smooth and faster when the user
industry adopts this technology. Having said that we
expect significant increase in our business
prospects with our increased product range. Infact
we have already started getting enquires based on
this new product.
is the coating market doing otherwise ?
the rise of Ideal Cures as a major player in film
coating industry, the monopoly of MNC has been
broken down which has immensely benefitted the
Indian Pharma industry. This has also opened the
gates for many other entrepreneurs to start such
business activity resulting this segment of industry
to become very competitive. The market size for
pre-mix coating compositions has grown many folds
during last few years , so as the competition. Today
many MNCs are entering this field, I am sure all
these developments will provide greater
opportunities for further innovations in the field
of film coating.
you plan to file more patents in the near future ?
have recently filed 3 new PCT applications for 3 new
products our R&D has developed; these are related to
immediate release coating, moisture barrier coating
and programmable delayed release coating. Our R&D
team is continuously working on many other novel
ideas and I am sure that we will continue to add
value to our product range and will be able to
provide better and better solutions to our
Indian Pharma industry has been growing at an
exceptional pace over the last few years. How do you
see the future growth ?
whole Pharma industry as well as the related
excipient industry has realized the importance of
R&D and are continuously making fresh investments in
R&D. The trained scientific manpower also is no less
capable than anywhere else in world. Therefore, the
future of Indian Pharma industry is very bright.
Though the competition has grown many folds but till
we continue to look for innovations, industry will
keep growing. There are difficult times especially
when the European economy is in trouble and may
affect the exports to Europe but as the Indian
Pharma industry is not exposed to only one region,
the overall impact on Indian companies may not be
have been a regular participant in major Pharma Expo
in India and abroad. From a marketing prospective
what has been your experience and gains from such
Continuous participation in such Pharma Expos has
been quite useful to us. We have been able to meet
different people from different regions which has
helped in better understanding their needs and
thereby developing suitable products for their
specific requirements. This has also helped us to
understand the market trend and possible future
requirements. Networking with our customers and
distributors is another big benefit from
does Ideal Cures position itself 10 years
from now ?
Cures is committed to make fresh investments in R&D,
new products and trained manpower, therefore, I am
sure that we will keep developing newer technologies
and thereby expanding our business prospects. We
have already started working on diversification and
have already made significant investment in backward
integration as we have already started manufacturing
acrylic polymers for our captive consumption. We
will thereby continuously upgrade our facilities and
business potential. I see a very bright future for
Ideal Cures in the
It was a pleasure speaking to both of you and we
Ideal Cures all the very best for all your future
Quality Products Sell by Themselves
Exclusive Interview with Mr. Ratan U. Bhatia,
Co-Founder, of Magumps
are amongst the pioneers in the Pharma Machinery
Industry in India. Please tell us about how you
started and the achievements of your company today?
you for the recognition.
story dates back to 1962, when one of Magumps
Co-Founder Late Mr. G. L. Bhatia was a freelancer
after completing his studies as a B.Sc.Tech ( Oil
Technology ) from U.D.C.T, Mumbai. One of his friend
owned an Oil Mill where in they used to process
different oils and for every batch they used to send
the sample for color testing to an outside
laboratory. Mr. G L. Bhatia noticed this and advised
against spending these high expenses and instead put
a small testing laboratory for this process at a
fractional of the annual costs. The owner of the
mill liked the idea but was reluctant to move
forward citing that they were very occupied with
their ongoing work and would go ahead if helped
technically by Mr. G.L.Bhatia. Mr. G.L Bhatia being
young and dynamic took this as a challenge. At that
time, I was in college and after college I used the
time to help Mr. G.L. Bhatia. Within 3 months, the
testing laboratory with all the instruments was
ready and was generating in-house testing reports,
which saved him enough to recover the entire cost of
laboratory including all the instruments and
accessories for the first year of operation. The
friend appreciated his efforts and wanted to pay him
for this, which he did not accept. So to reciprocate
the favors the owner forced him to supply all the
recurring glass apparatus. This was the beginning of
start of our business on a very small scale.
in the year 1965 we entered in to the supply of
laboratory equipments which gave us good
understanding of the domestic market and we were
approached by an leading International manufacturers
to market their powder drying equipment in India.
During this time, it became necessary to establish
our company " Magumps " with additions of various
other equipments within the same line. Those were
the days when we both Co-founders were individually
working as ' Peons to Managers/ Partners '. We used
to hire bicycles for making deliveries ourselves as
well as giving free demonstration of our equipment
to the customers at their premises to showcase our
equipment and to win their confidence. Mr.
G.L.Bhatia always believed that if our equipment are
good, the customers will find the value and come
searching for the same. Hence one does not need any
effort to market it. Originally we started dealing
in glass apparatus plus laboratory instruments. We
also helped various manufacturers in marketing their
instruments and testing equipment. Then we added
self manufacturing of Label Gumming Machines, Mini
Print Masters, Tablet Disintegration, Hardness, and
Friability Test Machines. We also expanded the
range, by marketing quality machines such as Rotary
tabletting by M/s. Cadmach & Clit, High speed
labeling machines by Ambica Group, Rorer bottle
washing machines, Dry syrup Powder filling machines,
complete line equipment from bottle washing to
kind of machinery do you specialize in?
Currently our specialization is in Tray Driers,
Rotary Vacuum Cone Driers, Vacuum Tray Driers,
Sifters and Multi-Mills. Our range of supply
includes Granulators, Tabletting Machines, Dry Heat
Sterilizers, Octagonal / Double Cone / & Drum
Blenders, Vacuum Shelf Driers, Sparkler Filter
Press, Stirrers, Homogenizers, Liquid Filling,
Capping, Inspection & Labeling lines,
Belt-Conveyors, Capsule filling & Loaders, Capsule &
Tablet Counting Machines, Filtered hot air blowers
to dry wet equipment, in addition of all types of
Stainless Steel clean-room furniture & accessories,
Quality control would be your top priority. Would
you please elaborate on this?
We believe there is no compromise on quality. As Mr.
G.L Bhatia use to say this to our team that "Good
Quality Products Sell by Itself”. To follow this we
get involved personally in internal inspection,
testing of each equipment by taking multiple trials
before installing at a customer’s site. We
subsequently follow up with the customer’s team to
check the performance and constantly seek their
feedback and suggestions for improvements.
has the technology changed in this field in the last
Technology has changed immensely. We have seen the
time from fully manual processing to semi-automatic
to fully automatic controlled machines with use of
software managed by Programmable Logic Controls
(PLC) based panels with pneumatic, hydraulic and
safety instrumentation. With changing times, we have
constantly innovated, improvised, and upgraded our
manufacturing processes and machines we offer for
the Pharmaceutical Industries.
are you currently placed in the Indian and the
to our commitment to Quality, Long standing, Ethical
Business Practices we have earned the trust and
business of top National and Multi National
Companies, having many satisfactory installations in
domestic companies such as Torrent Pharmaceuticals
Ltd., Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd., Cadila
Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Lupin Laboratories Ltd., Dr.
Reddys Laboratories Ltd., Divis Laboratories Ltd. to
name a few.
countries do you export your machinery to?
the years, we have indirectly supplied to customers
in Nigeria, Malaysia, Bangladesh, America, Middle
East, and Nepal.
are your future Plans?
are looking to starting direct exports in the near
term and would like to be leading supplier of
quality equipment in domestic markets.
do you see the Indian Pharma sector vis-a-vis Vision
see the Indian Pharma sector to continue to grow.
Already Indian manufactured products have found good
place domestically as well as in International
market. Due to the opening up of Foreign Direct
Investments (FDI) in India many Multi National
Companies are looking forward to invest in India,
accordingly there is a good potential of growth in
NEOCOTA’’ Is the Pioneer of Automatic Tablet Coating
Excerpts of an exclusive Interview
done by The Pharma Review
with Anup Maitra, Managing Director, Neomachine,
You are amongst the pioneers in
Coating Machinery. Please tell us how you started
and the achievements of your company today?
We started our company in the year
1973 with a mission to manufacture Pharmaceutical
Machinery for Tablets, Liquid, Injectables, Bandage
and ointment sections. In the year 1984, we
introduced and subsequently solely concentrated on
Automatic Coating System, suitable to coat tablet &
pallet under the brand name of ‘’NEOCOTA’’ in India
market of Pharmaceutical Industry. Subsequently, ‘’NEOCOTA’’
became the pioneer of Automatic Tablet Coating
System and got overwhelming response from almost all
the leading Pharmaceutical companies in India. Later
we started with standard control panels, then
developed the same to Microprocessor based control
panels Thereafter we introduced PLC with HMI based
control panels to run our NEOCOTA machines smoothly.
Till date, we are engaged in upgrading our machine
to cater to the present need and demand of the
pharmaceutical industry complying WHO, CGMP & USFDA
How has the technology changed in the
Coating field in the manufacturing of medicine in
the last few years?
Introduction of WHO, CGMP & USFDA
norms and subsequently introduction of
Instrumentation as per need with our Machines
suitable for Film and Sugar Coating and for both
Aqueous & Non-aqueous.
What kind of medicines is this
coating system is applied to?
Hygroscopic tablets, Bitter test
tablets, Enteric type tablets, Time reduced tablets,
Specific site of action tablets, Brittle hardness
tablets, and for Colouring of tablets etc.
What is the various types of
provision in NEOCOTA?
Enteric Coating, Pallet Coating,
Sugar Coating, Hormone Coating, Aqueous &
Non-Aqueous Coating, can be done in NEOCATA.
Is there any ‘Automatic Loading &
Unloading’ facility’ can provided in NEOCOTA?
Yes, ‘Automatic Loading & Unloading
Facility can be provided in NEOCOTA. We also provide
Liquid Flow Rate Indication, Air Flow Rate
Indication and Humidity Rate on HMI Screen along
with Interlocking System between Pan, Blower And
Quality Control will be your top
priority. Would you please elaborate on this?
By maintaining the standard practices
like checking of all inward materials as per
specified guidelines as well as checking of related
certificates and documents. Checking of buyers URS
while manufacturing of machines, load test before
despatch, providing IQ, OQ & DQ to the buyers of our
You are amongst the few reputed
companies working out of West Bengal. How has that
given you an edge?
Our main strength is our Professional
Management and vastly experienced technical team to
cater our coating systems to Gujarat and
How are you currently placed in the
Indian and International market?
Through we are facing stiff
competition from the other manufacturers who came
into the scenario later than us, but still, we are
enjoying the major share of the pharmaceutical
market in India and abroad.
What is the range of products you
manufacture? Which countries did you export your
Presently we are a single product
company i.e. NEOCOTA Automatic Tablet Coating System
We have exported our NEOCOTA Coating Systems to
Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Brazil, China,
Cyprus. Egypt, Jordan, Kenya, Malyasia, Siberia,
Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Uganda, USA, UAE &
How do you see the Indian Pharma
sector vis-à-vis 2020?
We are very much optimistic that
India will emerge as one of the top five global
markets of pharmaceutical products by 2020, up from
20% at the present market share.
Policy is to Invest Greatly in Research and
Development (R&D) and to Continually Strengthen our
Exclusive Interview with Mr. Neil Giles, Marketing
Communications Manager, Product Inspection Division,
Mettler - Toledo
Can you talk about the Indian pharmaceutical
industry in terms of current challenges as well as
In terms of the future trends for the Indian market,
we see these following a similar path to those we
have experienced in Western markets. Many
pharmaceutical manufacturers are already facing
challenges to increase productivity, reduce costs
and improve the overall quality of products required
against a backdrop of increased regulatory
compliance. As a result, the Indian market will
continue to adopt technology developed in
traditionally more tightly regulated regions in
terms of pharmaceutical safety, such as Europe and
North America. This will help deliver on both
producer and consumer expectations as well as meet
We expect the Indian pharmaceutical industry to be
an area of strong growth for Mettler-Toledo in the
next couple of years as manufacturers invest further
in product inspection technology that enables them
to fulfill the demands of regulations. Overall,
manufacturers have looked to increase detection
sensitivity and traceability as they strive to
comply with regulations set by the country’s Central
Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), World
Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines and other
global regulation and legislation. Using a product
range that complies with such standards will help
Indian pharmaceutical producers to expand their
business and grow market share.
What are some of the products and services Mettler-Toledo
provides that will help Indian pharmaceutical
manufacturers comply with the regulations? What are
key products, services and areas that Mettler-Toledo
Product Inspection Division offers?
Our product inspection portfolio includes metal
detection, x-ray inspection, check weighing and
vision inspection technology, which incorporates
serialisation and track and trace solutions. These
technologies enhance the safety and quality of
pharmaceutical products by:
Detecting and removing foreign bodies including
metals, glass, stones and dense plastics.
Ensuring that pack contents are correct. This can
include checking the weight or quantity of product
per pack and for the inclusion of documentation and
leaflets. All of this compliant with global
regulation and legislation.
Confirming correct product presentation, labelling
and bar code information.
Checking the integrity of the product within the
package including mass, fill level, product count
and inspecting for broken products.
Safeguarding medical supplies by confirming the
quantity of medical instruments such as needles
within a package. This can include product
verification - for example checking the correct
position of the locking lever in medical devices
such as asthmatic inhalers, or inspecting
transfusion bags for contaminants.
Providing serialisation solutions to show products
are genuine, reducing instances of product
Our Tablex-Pro and Pharma GF-Pro product ranges have
been very successful in Western markets as they help
to meet safety challenges in the pharmaceutical
industry - and this is also the case in India. The
Tablex-PRO metal detection system, from Mettler-Toledo
Safeline combines our advanced metal contaminant
detection technology with sophisticated software
enabling pharmaceutical manufacturers to enhance
compliance while improving product safety and
productivity. Tablex-PRO is equipped with a unique
Condition Monitoring feature which contributes to
the prevention of unscheduled downtime and increases
With the XS1, a highly precise checkweighing system
from Mettler-Toledo Garvens, pharmaceutical
manufacturers can minimise the number of over- and
underweight products, reduce product waste and save
production costs. The checkweigher is able to weigh
small and lightweight products (up to 200g) at high
throughput speeds of up to 600 products per minute
with unprecedented accuracy. The technology achieves
this thanks to the improved conveyor and weigh cell
design as well as its lightweight belt material,
ensuring the checkweigher is accurate up to ±0.015g.
This precision ensures that Indian pharmaceutical
manufacturers can set tighter tolerances for their
products than ever before.
Earlier this year, we acquired Pharmacontrol
Electronic Gmbh (PCE) that specializes in
intelligent vision inspection solutions. PCE
provides comprehensive track and trace and
serialisation solutions for every step of the
packaging line including full aggregation and
enterprise system connectivity. The technology will
enable Asian pharmaceutical manufacturers to comply
with the latest serialisation and track and trace
To further help pharmaceutical manufacturers meet
compliance requirements, Mettler-Toledo provides
services such as the fully documented Equipment
Qualification EQ-Pac package. This provides the
necessary documentation including the Design
Qualification (DQ), Installation Qualification (IQ),
Operation Qualification (OQ), Performance
Qualification (PQ) & Maintenance Qualification (MQ)
essential for manufacturers to meet the needs of
regulatory compliance. As we are present in all
major countries we provide valuable instruction in
the local language. In many countries we even offer
24/7 service, something we will be extending even
further in the future.
We see ourselves as playing a very critical part in
the processes of pharmaceutical manufacturers by
providing products that are built and supported with
these requirements in mind.
When it comes to the inspection of pharmaceutical
products, what trends can we see currently? Also,
what would you say are pressing needs for the
industry when it comes to technology and equipment?
There is a growing demand in the region for track
and trace technologies for pharmaceutical products.
Industry regulations regarding counterfeit drugs are
becoming more stringent, with new directives coming
into force in the US and the European Union (EU)
over the next few years and standards expected to be
tightened in India and China. Vision inspection
technology, such as that offered by PCE, is located
at every Critical Control Point (CCP) in the
packaging line to track each pill or caplet, from
initial manufacture to shipping, will help
pharmaceutical manufacturers protect their brand by
minimizing the possibility of counterfeit products
entering the supply chain. Such comprehensive
traceability solutions will also enable
pharmaceutical manufacturers to export goods to
Western markets that require such due diligence.
Many of the traditional or small- to medium sized
companies (SMEs) in the pharmaceutical industry do
not require a complex bespoke detection system. As
lines speed up and the throughput increases, the
manufacturer needs to inspect pharmaceutical
products at ever growing volumes with greater levels
of sensitivity. Reliable, accurate machines with
high-speed capability are therefore needed for
pharmaceutical manufacturers to remain competitive.
Our machines are designed so that as volume
increases, product inspection speeds can compensate.
What will be Mettler-Toledo’s focus for the
development of the Indian market next year? Are
there any further development plans?
We have a number of new products in the pipeline,
working alongside our customers to ensure that as
they modify their lines and product offerings we too
adapt our production inspection technologies to meet
ever-changing regulations. Checkweigher innovations
will be focused on weighing even more items in a
shorter time, whereas metal detection and x-ray
systems will be able to detect smaller and more
diverse foreign bodies at higher speeds. We will
also continue to enhance our real-time connectivity
solutions for new levels of reporting and
transparency. India and Asia is our key focus; this
is where we have continually grown our business, not
only in terms of the number of factories, but
service stations as well. Since 2009, we have
managed to double our production capacity in Asia,
which to a great extent has been fuelled by our
strong expansion in China and India. We are also
looking to continue our expansion across South-East
Asia. Asia is a buoyant marketplace for product
inspection and we are at the forefront of
developments there by offering customised solutions.
Mettler-Toledo’s policy is to invest greatly in
research and development (R&D) and to continually
strengthen our product portfolio. We are constantly
tracking market trends and partnering with leading
pharmaceutical device manufacturers, industry
associations and educational establishments to
develop innovative solutions to new challenges,
whether inspecting new pack styles or new materials
at higher speeds or with higher sensitivity.
We feel it is our responsibility as an innovative
product inspection partner to educate new customers
on the various inspection technologies through tools
such as seminars, webinars and white papers. We are
continually researching new and improved detection
technologies in order to serve our Asian customers
to the very best of our abilities and more
importantly to their increasing needs.
Quality Has Always Been Our Top Priority
an exclusive Interview, Mr. Manohar Kothari of Indo
German Pharma, Spoke with Faroukh Debu Editor The
1. You are one of the leading manufacturers &
pioneers of Pharmaceutical Machinery in Indian
Industry. Can you just share about your companies
today’s standings compared to that in the beginning?
GERMAN was established in the year 1981 with an aim
to serve the Pharmaceutical Industry with machinery
Starting with a small product, today INDO GERMAN has
achieved leadership status and reputation in
manufacturing of various sophisticated and high
valued machineries in various PHARMA sections like
INJECTABLE, GRANULATION, LIQUID ORAL, OINTMENT and
Allied Industries in FOOD, COSMETICS, CHEMICALS &
BULK DRUGS. We are in this field from last 30 years.
Keeping in mind at all times our motto “ WE WORK FOR
YOUR BETTER TOMORROW” we are enjoying the respect
of the industry and this is mainly because of our
approach towards customer satisfaction.
2. What kind of machinery do you specialize in?
are specialized in machineries for INJECTABLES,
LIQUID ORAL, TABLET (GRANULATION) & OINTMENT
SECTION such as the Multi Column Distillation
Plant, Super Heated Water Spray Sterilizer,
Autoclaves & Sterilizers and the Sterile
Manufacturing Vessels, Liquid Oral Process Plant,
Automatic Ointment Manufacturing Plant, Fluid Bed
Dryers, Rapid Mixer Granulators etc….etc….
3. Quality would be your top priority. Would you
please elaborate on this?
Quality always being our top priority and has the
crucial importance being Pharmaceutical Industry.
cGMP guidelines makes quality aspects truly clear in
respect of equipment validation, functioning, and
desired performance. This leads to achieve basic
goal of supplying the products those meet specific
requirements and of specific standards. We have a
team of quality conscious experts, working hard to
ensure product quality. We adopt day to day
technological advancement in close co-ordination
with our clientele on the existing equipment and
with respect to automation, keeping international
standards in mind.
4. How has the technology changed in this field in
the in the last few years?
enhanced awareness about cGMP with WHO standards &
norms, the technology in the last 2 decades have
advanced. We have stringent norms and set
procedures for each and every step of designing and
testing our equipment.
5. How are you currently placed in the Indian and
the international market?
the recipient of the “LIFE TIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD”
for excellent services to the Pharma Industries
during the year 2010, we are receiving repeated
orders from our domestic and international
customers. Customer satisfaction has been our main
motto and we always see to achieve it. Currently we
are enjoying the respect of established National &
Multinational Companies because of our approach
towards Customer Satisfaction. Various efforts in
innovating and adopting latest technologies in
product design to cater increased quality demands
for maintaining quality, consistency and honest
customers centric approach has earned us a huge
client base spread across the globe.
6. Which countries do you export your machinery to?
export our machineries to South Africa, Egypt,
Turkey, Georgia, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Malaysia,
Bangladesh, Philippines, Kenya, Botswana, Nigeria,
Ghana, Yemen, Georgia, Canada, Russia and many more…
7. What are your future Plans?
a focus to cater mainly to PHARMA & ALLIED SECTOR,
our vision is to become a recognized global player
based on world class research & development. We plan
to expand our existing unit by developing few more
machines with overseas collaboration and have our
own marketing offices in some parts of the world.
8. How do you see the Indian Pharma sector vis-a-vis
is regarded as one of the fastest growing PHARMA
HUB globally. With International Competitive power
taking the mission of innovation the Indian
Pharmaceutical Industry is expected not only to
contribute to the improvement of the level of
medical treatment for health of citizens but also to
largely contribute to economic growth.
Sector has a very Bright Future
Rajesh Puri of BACFO Pharmaceuticals, Spoke to The
Pharma Review in an exclusive interview
In the last few years alone, your company has
achieved dazzling heights in the field of finished
Herbal Products? Please tell us something more about
your work and your company?
manufactures Research Based Herbal (Ayurvedic)
health & personal care products. We have implicit
faith in the oldest known Medical Science – Ayurveda
but the same needs to be understood from today’s
perspective and standardized using technology
available today. It is our firm belief that the end
Quality can only be achieved with Quality Management
Systems. BACFO was among the first Ayurvedic
manufacturer to have got ISO, HACCP and WHO GMP
certifications. Our in-house R&D is duly recognized
by DSIR (Department of Scientific & Industrial
Research), Ministry of Science & Technology. BACFO
is the only Ayurvedic manufacturer to have
introduced the concept of Dry Syrup within Ayurveda
and the same has been patented. We believe that to
understand Ayurveda and its benefits we need to go
deeper and use modern technology to standardize the
products. For example, the benefits of Garlic are
well known and established in Ayurveda. We even find
common people using Garlic every day and then being
told by the Physicians that the same did not give
any benefit. So, is the Garlic to be blamed or the
medical science? The truth is neither! Probably when
Ayurveda was written the atmosphere was so pure that
all the medicinal herbs had the medicinal value.
With passage of time, soil contaminations, cross
pollination, etc we today need to verify the same.
So, if the concentration of ‘allicin’ in Garlic
which was taken was nil, would you still blame
Ayurveda? We at BACFO have worked on this principle
where we look at the ‘actives’ in the raw material
and standardize our products on this basis. Today,
we are proud that our products have been giving
assured results and we have so many satisfied
customers not only in India but around the world.
What is the range of products you deal in?
have a vast range of products both in the patent
formulations and in the Classical Ayurvedic range.
We are concentrating on the modern life style
problems and have a product for a number of such
problems, for example, Diabetes today is so common
and our product DIABAC has improved the lives of so
many. Our RESPICARE for Respiratory allergies has
been very popular and recently we introduced the
RESPICARE Dry Syrup for children. Our IMMUNOCARE for
immune modulation has a double blind clinical trial
undertaken at AIIMS, New Delhi. Our JOINTCARE range
of tablets, oil and Gel has proved very popular. Our
STREX-5M has been reducing the stress factor not
only among the elderly but even among our youth.
Each of our formulations is derived from extensive
Research and has been standardized for optimum
efficacy. Our website, www.bacfo.com provides
complete information on every product. We also have
a wide range of “Organic Herbs” that we export and
are certified by ECOCERT for both EU & USA
Guidelines for this range.
Where are your main units located?
have a unit at Sector 2 NOIDA at present. However,
our new production unit spread over more than 8000
sq.mt. will soon be operational at Phase II, NOIDA.
What measures do you take for quality control of
was established in 1994 and after extensive Research
started commercial production in the year 2000.
Given the international exposure of our management
team (combined we have over 35 years of experience
in operating businesses in Europe, North America,
Africa and Asia), we wanted to bring a unique
product to the market – highly researched,
manufactured in world-class automated machinery,
attractive packaging, standardized to maintain high
efficacy. The first products that left our factory
about a decade ago had bar codes, were packed in
blisters and cartons and included a precise
description of all ingredients.
Quality is our paramount driving force. We ensure
Quality at each step, from Raw Materials to finished
products. Even when you look at our packaging, it
speaks of Quality starting from the ITC Pearl
graphic paper to the bottles sourced from Cincorp –
a company producing HDPE bottles in clean room
environment. How many Pharma companies leave aside
Ayurvedic manufacturers go through such pains? Every
raw material is tested for the ‘Actives’ and other
essential in-house parameters. These have been made
essential in BACFO even though they are not
mandatory for Ayurvedic products. We are in a sacred
business of ‘Health care’ and the onus of the
product efficacy lies on us. Hence, we ensure
complete Quality in every thing that we do. Herbs
become ‘Medicinal’ if they have the medicinal
values, otherwise these should be considered as
‘spices’. We ensure that the raw material used has
the appropriate medicinal values and every Batch
manufactured by us is standardized on this
How are you currently placed in the domestic market?
are not pan India at present. Our operations are
mainly confined to North & Central India. But
consciously we are present in Gujarat & Kerala, the
State where Ayurveda is still the major medical form
of treatment among people. However, we have a very
active ‘Online Store’ on our website and we are
sending our products to all over the country free of
Tell us about your position and plans for the
is already exporting to more than 25 countries where
we have our Distributional network. We are expanding
our network to other countries as well.
Incidentally, BACFO was awarded for “Outstanding
Exports – Herbal Products” by PHARMEXCIL. The
process for registration in International Markets is
not only exhaustive but also time consuming.
However, we have satisfied the requirements and are
at advance stage for approvals from several other
countries. We do not differentiate in Quality for
exports and domestic market. It is the same Quality
we give to domestic that is exported.
What are your future plans?
wish to consolidate our distribution in domestic
market and be pan India by year 2013. We are working
on new products to be introduced shortly. We are at
an advanced stage of Registrations of our products
in several other countries. Our expansion will be
multiplying once the construction of the new factory
How do you see the Indian Pharma (Ayurvedic) sector
vis-a-vis Vision 2020?
the Ayurvedic sector has a very bright future but
the industry needs to make more use of the
technology available to us. We need to provide
standardized products that have undergone extensive
clinical study. We need to integrate the
‘traditional’ with ‘modern’. Why can the two medical
systems not co-exist? Each one has an important role
to play. After all, both look at improving health!
So there is a common goal. Why should it matter if
the raw material is from chemical or natural source?
Why should there be always a controversy between the
two systems of medicine if both are working towards
‘health’! It is only that the approach is different
in the two systems, where one has a holistic
approach while the other has symptom related
approach. Let there be a ‘common knowledge’ and an
integration of the two. It will only help to improve
health for all. We think the Ayurvedic sector will
be playing a very positive role towards Vision 2020
and there will be a tremendous growth in this
sector. People have understood the benefits of
‘Natural’ products and also realized the price that
needs to be paid for chemicals. The world has been
moving towards higher antibiotics and the life of
such drugs is around a decade before resistance
starts building up. Is it not ‘food for thought’
that even after thousands of years there is no
resistance to any of the Ayurvedic products?
market for herbal products has evolved over the
years. The consumers are more Quality conscious now.
There is far greater awareness and acceptability of
herbal products in the young generation now than
what it was when we started. Earlier, the majority
of users for Herbal products were from 50+ age
group. This has changed dramatically over the years.
Today it is 25+ age group that has become the
‘essential driver’ for the herbal industry. This
shift has brought a welcome change and improvements
in the presentation, packaging and Quality of herbal
Awarded Arch of Europe Award in Quality and
Pharmaceuticals Ltd. received the Arch of Europe
Award in Quality and Excellence in the Gold category
for the year 2012 for showing commitment to quality,
exemplary leadership and technology and innovation.
This award was given to Finecure during 38th
International Quality Convention held at Frankfurt.
The Pharma Review spoke to Mr. Vikas Rajgarhia
(Executive Director) Finecure Pharmaceuticals Ltd,
Finecure Pharmaceuticals achieved several milestones
in sectors of Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals and a
credible position. We would like you to share some
views and ideas about your company, plans, future
and your outlook to the industry.
Finecure Pharmaceuticals Ltd develops and markets
pharmaceutical formulations for treatment of various
ailments. Finecure is one of the Leading Pharma
Manufacturers and was founded by promoters to
penetrate in growing pharmaceutical market with
expertise and an winning edge with a vision to
provide novel and better drug delivery systems. The
company has PAN-INDIA presence with products
prescribed by around 18,000 Doctors and available at
over 40,000 Pharmacies and Medical stores, with a
product sold every second in INDIA. The company
exports to various countries.
are the quality certifications held by company
company is certified for WHO GMP, ISO 9001: 2008,
ISO 22000: 2005, ISO 14001: 2004, OHSAS 18001: 2007.
Also the company is CE certified and FDA registered.
does Finecure make working culture policies
Finecure makes all policies and strategy with a view
to satisfy all employees, partners and associates as
best company to work with and Cultivates high
Policies include to recruit and retain talented
employees, promote healthy work environment and
foster a learning organization.
are your Success Factors
Success Factors include:
goals and aligned strategies
lasting relationships with all stakeholders and
product prescribers and distribution channels.
Increased brand trust and marketing.
Motivation, training and promotion of employees
including work balancing of employees.
do you make your policies to compete with
policies made keeping in view to competitors
Technical Enhancement and Development of New
Distribution Network and Representation
Fostering of Effective Corporate Compliance Program
had been your financial success
company been rated
NSIC CRISIL SE 1A
rated company for
Highest Performance Strength And High Financial
Company has maintained double digit growth rate,
higher than overall Indian Pharma Industry
indicating company’s policies implementation and
performance strength. According to CRISIL Research
the pharmaceutical industry is expected to grow at a
CAGR of 17 to 19% and Finecure Business model
reflected in a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR)
of 28.36% cent in revenues over the past three
is the role of the top managment of your Company
the top provide leadership, develop the mission,
vision, values and ethics and act as role models.
Define, monitor, review and drive the improvement of
management systems and performance.
Reinforce a culture of excellence with the
Ensure flexibility in organisation and manage change
do you make effective strategies.
Strategy is made after understanding the needs and
expectations of stakeholders, customers and the
external environment including competition and
regulatory. Also market surveys, interactions and
industry reports make contribution to strategy. The
strategies focus on strategic, financial,
technology, human resource, marketing, facility, and
quality planning to ensure Finecure’s strength and
viability and enhance its position as leader in
Pharmaceuticals. People at Finecure are aligned,
trained, involved and empowered for effective
strategy implementation and review.
do you build partnerships
Partnership are built for sustainable mutual
Partnership is an asset to our organization. Timely
delivery and delivery of quality materials are key
objectives. These factors contribute to timely
production and improved productivity of the company.
partnership is based on parameters like:
does Finecure work on Products and Processes
processes are designed to manufacture and market
pharmaceutical formulations and full stability
throughout product shelf life cycles. FINECURE
defines value creation processes as those that help
produce value - products and services – for its
stakeholders. Innovation is done through outcomes of
inputs received through processes as SWOT, market
research, customer and market needs. The processes
of the company are guided through Process, Products,
do you work for Customer Relationship Enhancement
Finecure puts care for customers by developing
long-term relationships. Our people have a clear
picture of customer needs which enables them to have
long term relations and happy customers and
significantly higher customer retentions and
excellent brand loyalty, which helps in long term
growth and happy customers.
Finecure ensures customer relationship management
Automated Support Process
Dedicated Support Manager
Feedback / Suggestion Mechanism
are your future plans
company has charted growth plan by focusing into new
geographies and better penetration in existing
geographies including increase in product portfolio.
Please tell us about your awards and accolades
company is awarded with "Arch of Europe Award" 2012
and recognized for Quality and Excellence by FICCI,
ASSOCHAM and IDMA.
It was a pleasure speaking to you and we wish
Finecure all the very best for all your future
Looking Ahead for Advanced Product Inspection
consumers have more sophisticated preferences than
ever before. Even during turbulent economic times,
they insist that brands exhibit genuine commitment
to quality, innovation and product safety, whilst
simultaneously maintaining low prices.
Pharmaceutical manufacturers must look to adapt
their production processes if they are to keep pace
with these market changes. Equally, manufacturers
can never lose sight of increasingly stringent
regulations and safety standards. Failure to meet
the necessary industry standards can really hit
manufacturers where it hurts: as well as eroding
trust in their brand, they risk damaging profitable
relationships with major retail organisations. In
this Interview, John Coleman, Marketing Manager from
the product inspection division at Mettler Toledo,
joins us to discuss the latest consumer trends, how
they are influencing product inspection technology,
and how pharmaceutical manufacturers can stay ahead
of the game.
What are the Latest
Trends in The Pharmaceutical Industry that are
Influencing Product Inspection?
In such a dynamic market, the large number of
emerging trends can be difficult to untangle from
one another. However, we're seeing two particular
consumer trends really begin to stand out: one is
the demand for greater variety; the other is demand
for increased quality, or, put another way,
increased manufacturer responsibility.
In terms of variety, we see an ever-increasing array
of packaging shapes and materials in our medicine
cabinets. Growing demand for these new packages
presents us with a challenge in product inspection,
as unstable products often result in difficult
product transfer and transport. The production of a
wider variety of products, packaging materials and
pack sizes presents further challenges as this
requires more frequent setting changes, which can
increase downtime and erode efficiency. Equally,
growth in the number of demographics targeted, both
niche and mainstream, requires greater flexibility
from pharmaceutical manufacturers. The trend is
towards integrating flexible production lines that
can handle smaller batch sizes of a wider number of
products and packages, and it's our job to provide
the product inspection technology to support this
without slowing throughput.
Looking at product quality, we've seen an explosion
in the amount of regulations and legislation that
manufacturers must meet. Governments and regulatory
bodies across the globe - the FDA, the standards
covered by the GFSI such as BRC, IFS, SQF and ISO
22000 and the SQF to name a few - are increasingly
joined by leading retailers in their demands for
better product safety.
For us, regulations are nothing new – ensuring that
manufacturers meet safety requirements is what we
do. Yet, the increased stringency of regulatory
demands, coupled with the ever-present need for
higher manufacturing throughput, influences all of
our product inspection innovations.
Additionally, we can see the continued growth of
sustainability as a factor. Pressure from
retailers, consumers and activist groups alike is
forcing manufacturers to re-evaluate how they
produce and package their products.
What does this Mean for your Customers?
For pharmaceutical manufacturers, the trend
towards greater variety demands greater versatility
from product inspection systems. Our customers need
equipment that can handle
a wide range of different packaging types, detect
physical contaminants regardless of their shape or
location within the product, whilst also achieving
accurate weighing results at high speeds. Machinery
must be easy to change over, environmentally
sustainable and energy efficient, and incorporate
increased automation and ease-of-use.
To ensure higher quality, companies must have
top-level quality checks on their manufacturing
lines. All processes must meet industry standards,
but not at the expense of efficiency.
It must be added that pharmaceutical manufacturing
lines should have systems in place to meet new
serialisation requirements and prevent the spread of
counterfeit drugs. Lines must be designed and
approved to take account of this specific problem,
which causes great damage to the industry.
How do you help Companies Meet these Challenges?
A key philosophy of ours is flexibility. We are
continuously developing and refining our product
inspection solutions to allow our customers to do
more with fewer systems. Our systems have evolved
into multi-tasking defenders of product and brand
quality, so to speak. And we often provide guidance
to select the best combination of technology,
whether x-ray systems, metal detectors or
checkweighers, to meet our customers’ needs. Our
consultation focuses on helping companies meet all
industry regulations, improve traceability, optimise
processes to boost efficiency, minimise downtime and
From a technology perspective, our adaptable x-ray
and metal detection systems are able to inspect a
vast array of product and packaging types, including
pumped products, packaged products like metal cans,
glass jars, cartons and bags, as well as
conveyorised or gravity fall bulk loose products. At
the same time as checking for contaminants, x-ray
systems can ensure product quality by offering mass
measurement, ensuring that no product is trapped in
the seal, identifying missing items and measuring
fill levels. Also, our checkweighers are designed to
provide more than weight control capability; they
can provide product stability while ensuring
weighing accuracy on the production line. By
integrating our x-ray and metal detection technology
with our portfolio of checkweighing systems, we
provide our customers with complete and tailored
solutions that can handle products of all different
shapes and sizes.
We also design our systems with sustainability and
hygiene in mind. Product inspection technologies
feature a robust housing to protect against dust and
water and comply with the IP69k standard.
How has Product Inspection Technology Evolved?
Across industries, there has certainly been a
shift towards usability and higher speed. We've
identified the need for greater ase-of-use,
ease-of-changeover, ease-of-maintenance and
auto-setup options in pharmaceutical packaging
operations and these factors have become our focus
in recent times. Companies also want streamlined
solutions, both in their interface (with simple
settings and displays) and physical design (with
increasingly compact systems). This is not to forget
higher line speeds and throughput, which remain a
constant priority. Specific innovations like
Condition Monitoring improve efficiency by providing
advance warning of potential line stopping issues
before they occur, enabling planned maintenance when
We have initiated a shift towards systems with
multi-function capabilities and improved accuracy.
As I said before, our x-ray systems are now so much
more than just a contaminant detector. We’re seeing
more versatile systems that guarantee the uniformity
and quality of products in a variety of packaging,
such foils, blister packs, cartons, pouches, bags,
medical devices, glass, plastic in the
pharmaceutical industry. Similarly, checkweighers
have evolved into, what we're calling, 'quality
stations' - with highly advanced equipment for Track
& Trace, such as vision inspection systems.
Previously unattainable accuracy can now be achieved
through higher machine stability and extremely
powerful inspection, which can identify even the
most minor traces of contamination.
What are Some Common Problems you Encounter when
Counselling Customers on Product Inspection
Mostly, any problems stem from misconceptions about
the uses, safety and effectiveness of product
inspection systems, or from a lack of knowledge
about industry standards and regulations. We find
that many new customers have been using an
inappropriate inspection system for their
requirements, and this is something we seek to
When counselling customers on a new solution, we
often have to combat the falsity of a number of
misconceptions. For example, many believe products
in metalized film cannot be inspected by metal
detection systems, but this is false. There’s also
a misconception that x-ray systems are not
completely safe to use and that they can only do
contamination detection, but these are false as
We also help our customers to gain knowledge about
product inspection and how it works. We can counsel
them on the differences between x-ray and metal
detection and when to use each. Equally, we help
manufacturers understand the effects of their
production processes on checkweighing accuracy, for
example, and on how to meet the particular standards
imposed by their industry.
How do you Edu-cate your Customers and Prospects?
We use different techniques and different media
– hopefully reaching and engaging as many people as
possible. Much of our information is now displayed
or distributed online - on our website, through
newsletters or via online seminars (webinars). We
also like to provide 'hands-on' information through
our demonstration vans so that customers can get a
close look at inspection systems in action, as well
as at group seminars, guidance visits and training
courses either at Mettler Toledo facilities or
customer sites. Moreover, we regularly develop white
papers in order to share our expertise in the
industry and release detailed guides about the
different technologies we offer.
We present information in different formats, and
have found that this really appeals to different
readerships. Product inspection guides and white
papers are therefore supplemented by more
immediately accessible case studies and animations.
What is the Future of Product Inspection?
This is an exciting time for the industry. As we
look to meet market demands, we're also setting
agendas and pushing forward-thinking innovations. We
want to be alive to new consumer trends, and at the
same time be proactive.
In future years, new packaging materials will play
an increasingly influential role in the development
of product inspection technologies. We’ll continue
to adapt our product portfolio to provide rigorous
quality assessment of varied packages. Similarly,
continued globalisation of consumer markets will
change the face of brand strategy and behaviour. We
currently have the largest network of field-based
engineers that provide on-call support and
after-sales service for customers, and we will
continue to adapt to provide even-more widespread
In terms of proactive innovations, the focus will
be, as ever, on sensitivity and stability, speed,
accessibility, accuracy and productivity. Inspection
systems will be able to detect smaller contaminants
and contaminants that are not high in density. In
spite of their increased capabilities, advanced
inspection machines will be easier-to-use, even with
a lower-skilled workforce. Lastly, advanced data
collection software and systems integration tools
will be required to strengthen compliance and
provide proof of due diligence.
OTC Drugs vs Prescription Drugs Branding vs Any
Other Category Branding
“___________ ki goli lo, khich, khich duur karo”
“Yeh kya haal bana rakha hai, kuch lete kyun nahin?
If you have grown up in the days when TV was
Chitrahaar, The World This Week and Imran Khan
galloping on a saddle-less horse selling soap, you
will know that the gaps in the above sentences
belong to Vicks and Coldarin respectively.
those were the days of less fragmentation, etc but
for these brand lines to have withstood the test of
time and hazy memories, tells us that there is
something they did amazingly right. They recognized
the power of branding in a category otherwise left
to the doctor and the chemists’ wisdom; they used
the concept of consumer pull. If they needed the
pull 20 years ago, do OTC drugs need the pull today?
Rhetorical question, right?
So did Vicks and Coldarin branding do anything
different than detergents or soaps or toothpaste?
Yet again, rhetorical question. Like any and all
other well branded products they played on human
insights, evoked emotional reactions and reassured
that the price paid for the brand is more than the
relief promised: pretty much the codes of brand
building espoused by FMCG brands.
Prescription Drug Branding, however, follows
relatively complicated codes due to:
The consumer microcosm at play: rational, stressed
out, cynical of most pharma communication
The specificity of the solution: de rigueur for any
success are the support of clinical trials, being
published in journals of repute and success in other
The narrow window of opportunity: of the 2 minutes a
typical representative gets there is a
‘lean-in-6-seconds’zone which is critical. If the
doctor leans back in that time you might as well
The unreliable medium: regardless of what ammunition
you clad your medical representative with (including
ipads), unless he has the drive, personality and/or
attitude, the presentation will fall. And though
most companies train to the nth degree, the control
over the medium is always middling to low.
Branding for Prescription drugs, thus, requires a
lot more attention to detail and grounded in reality
messaging which can be translated seamlessly
verbally, in give-aways / leave behinds, collateral
and seminars / conferences (which form a large part
of where the brand world gets communicated).
At DY Works we cut our OTC branding teeth on Dr.
Morepen (wherein we made products like antacids and
Isabgol more acceptable than they were ever before)
and continue to hone our skills with partners like
Pfizer on My Pal (a contraceptive pill which took
the diametrically opposing stand to the dark and
foreboding world of i-pill and Unwanted 72) and
Our recent Prescription Drug branding projects have
been with Boehringer Ingelheim in their launch of
one of their blockbuster drugs into the India market
and with Mercury Pharma, in their launch of Bufyl,
an IV infusion drug in the UK market.
In both categories, offering solutions that are at
the cusp of category, consumer and brand are
critical: same-same as any other branding project
In an exclusive interview with The Pharma Review,
Alpana Parida, Spoke with Faroukh Debu, Editor
Please Explain the Concept of Brand Building.
brand is an intangible value add that happens to a
product when it is positioned to fulfill a need,
desire, fear that the consumer has about the
category. It helps in creating distinction with
other products as well as seeking a premium price in
the market place. The tangible assets of most well
known brands are far less in valuation when compared
to the brand’s value. In overcrowded and fragmented
market situation as ours, brands are what swing
consumer preferences in more cases than ever.
How do you think Branding is Beneficial for
generic drugs the answer is but obvious: when a
product delivers the same benefit as 5 others, then
the brand offers the trust, reassurance and efficacy
credentials the consumer seeks. In the case of
prescription drugs, the windows of blockbuster drugs
being copied are reducing, price is becoming an
important criterion for gaining short term numbers,
branding is critical for the short and the long term
salience and credibility with doctors and patients.
What is the way forward for Pharma Companies in
Internationally pharma as a sector when allowed by
regulatory bodies has quite evocative and evolved
communication for its brands. Some majors in India
are seeing the merit of relevant and engaging
communication and willing to pay for better services
and give enough time for better work. These are of
course the leaders in the category. It is high time
the rest followed suit for their own growth as well
as to ensure that their marketing (and thus sales)
is not stuck in an past time.
What does Successful OTC Branding Constitute of?
branding pretty much follows the norms of regular
FMCG branding. It is important to understand all
aspect of the consumer: articulated or behavioral or
cultural in the context of the problem the brand
offers to resolve. The other aspect that requires
detailed investigation is the competition and what
they are using to garner attention and create
disposition. And then comes the brand and what it
stands for, not as a product but as a higher order
representation. In simple terms, if the consumer
were to close his eyes and hear the brand name what
is the image that would emerge… the more specific,
clear and distinctive the image is the better the
branding has been.
In Terms of value Creation how can a Company
Rationalize the Investment in Brand Building?
that branding is pretty much evident in quite a few
players of the pharma industry a study of the brand
sales over a 2-3 year window before branding and
after would give a great barometer of the impact.
The logic is fuzzy but then we are discussing an
intangible benefit which ultimately works hare than
the products tangible delivery. And before the need
for results becomes overbearing companies HAVE to
keep in mind, that brands are like Rome, they aren’t
built in a day.
In the Present Scenario what are the Challenges that
Pharmaceutical Companies face with Regards to
A look at the the consumer and the category will
reveal that the need for branding is a rhetorical
question. The challenges for branding are more
internal than external. Company management and
marketing departments need to agree on the need for
branding and the benefits it will accrues to them as
a company and to them as professionals (the value of
someone who has built a brand as opposed to sold a
product is significantly higher even in the job
Do you have any Pharmaceutical Company as your
client? If yes, how have you helped them in the
brand Building Exercise?
Works we cut our OTC branding teeth on Dr.Morepen
(wherein we made products like Antacids and Isabgol
more acceptable than they were ever before) and
continue to hone our skills with partners like
Pfizer on My Pal (a contraceptive pill which took
the diametrically opposing stand to the dark and
foreboding world of i-pill and Unwanted 72) and
Gelusil. Our recent Prescription Drug branding
projects have been with Boehringer Ingelheim in
their launch of one of their blockbuster drugs into
the India market and with Mercury Pharma, in their
launch of Bufyl, an IV infusion drug in the UK