An hour of recognition in the hall of fame – Pharma Awards 2003 – Express Pharma Pulse

An hour of recognition in the hall of fame

EPP News Bureau – Mumbai

On Friday, 11th April, 2003, the chandelier-lit ballroom at JW Marriott Hotel here was scripting ineffable memories of a night that would go into the chronicles of Indian pharmaceutical industry. It was a night in honour of those who strive to excel… The 3rd Express Pharma Pulse Awards nite…

Recognition came as moment of pride for those guardians of health who bring in excellence into our lives… Their glories were sung to the zenith as rich encomiums showered…and the gushing, effervescing festive joy was uncorked.

It was a ceremony of all glitz and glam. The show started with a colourful music-dance ensemble celebrating the angels of healthcare. A captivating choreography specially designed for the occasion.

Welcome address by Shekhar Gupta, CEO and Editor-in-Chief, the Indian Express group, followed. He said the Indian Express as a group has sucessfully proved that the is no conflict between good editorial content integrity and marketplace. This essential integrity and credibility spread across the group.

The next highlight was D G Shah’s presentation. In his speech ‘‘Access to Medicines – TRIPS Council Deadlock’’, the secretary general of Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance sought to explore why the talks on TRIPs failed. ‘‘TRIPs Council is in a deadlock today. The rich countries work in the TRIPS Council to create a deadlock, tire out poor countries and frustrate their efforts to find access to affordable drugs, hoping to force them in signing a deal that is not even worth the paper it is signed on. In the meantime they are regrouping under the WIPO to have in place a uniform patent law that defies sovereignty of nations,’’ he observed.

To face this challenge of the hegemony of the big pharma and protect our commercial interest, we should work to consolidate position of the Developing Country Group and Africa Group. We also need to institutionalise a mechanism which encourages brain storming with private sector to develop a strategy for the trade negotiations, he suggested.

Then came the conferment of awards. Arun Jaitley, union minister for Law and Justice; Commerce and Industry, gave away the six overall performance awards and four special recognitions, amidst thunderous appluase from the elite audience from the length and breadth of the Indian pharmaceutical industry.

In his speech, Arun Jaitley underscored the importance of pharma industry and stressed the need to nurture it like the IT industry. ‘‘Among the knowledge industries, the IT success story has been sung many times over. However, the pharma success story has been sung a little less.’’

Inventions will have to be rewarded and that is one aspect of it. Equally important is the concerns of public health and public health concerns obviously are to have access to pharmaceuticals and drugs. If there are areas where some of the developed nations are also concerned about the consequences of Indian competitions, pharma is certainly one of them, he said.

The ceremony came to a close as N V Ramamurthy, editor, Express Pharma Pulse proposed vote of thanks.