ISCR awards excellence in clinical research

ISCR awards excellence in clinical research

The first annual Indian Society for Clinical Research (ISCR) Awards honoured industry stalwarts as well as young achievers who have displayed excellence in various disciplines of clinical research (CR). Viveka Roychowdhury reports

Dr Arun Nanivadekar delivering the keynote presentation

Dr Narges Mahaluxmivala, Sr Advisor, Quintiles India receives a Special Award for her “Notable contribution to clinical research fraternity” from Kewal Handa, Managing Director, Pfizer India while Dr Dhananjay Bakhle, senior Vice President and General Manager -India, Reliance Clinical Research Services looks on

Held on October 16th in Mumbai, the Indian Society for Clinical Research (ISCR) Awards function started with a keynote presentation by the Guest of Honour, Dr Arun Nanivadekar, Medical Consultant. His ‘Reflections on Clinical Research’ culminated with a wish list for a better clinical research (CR) industry. Topping his list was an urge to “take CR back to the cradle,” by which he meant that CR should be more closely aligned to clinical practice by merging academic inquiries with clinical trials (CT). He was also of the opinion that CR should be more conceptual than operational and that there should be more bridges between the different stakeholders in the CR process like the discoverers, sponsors, investigators, legislators, patients and media.

This was followed by a stimulating panel discussion on “Challenges of developing public confidence in CR”, moderated by Dr Deven Parmar, Vice President—CR, Wockhardt. Commenting on the role of public clinical trial registries in gaining public confidence, Dr Surinder Kher, Executive Director and CEO, Jubilant Clinsys said, “This is very important as general public awareness on CT is very low in India. More so, since in India, it is the family rather than the individual that decides participation in a clinical trial. So public registries will definitely help grow public opinion.”

Tongue firmly in cheek, Dr Arun Bhat, President, ClinInvent Research countered Kher saying, “Public registries are a punishment for industry (referring to the industry’s aversion to sharing information) so we have to learn to be more transparent.” Dr Purvish Parikh, Professor and former Chief of Medical Oncology at Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai pointed out that there are ways of encouraging transparency, like journals refusing to publish studies which have not been registered on a public registry.

When it was pointed out that reporting on CR tended to be sensationalistic, Vikas Dandekar, India Bureau Chief, FDC Reports said, “The ‘surprise the audience’ training of a journalist might give rise to mistakes in a nascent industry like ours, especially when there is no productive interaction between industry officials and media.”

The main event of the evening kicked off with a quick summary of the Awards process and the deliberations of the four jury members, Dr Purvish Parikh, Dr Ferzaan Engineer, CEO, Quintiles India, Dr Nilima Kshirsagar, former dean, Seth G Medical College and KEM Hospital and director, Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, Nasik and Dr S M Sapatnekar, Director, CREMA. Of the five categories and three Special Awards, the Jury decided to keep the Data Manager of the Year category open till the end of November due to insufficient entries. This award will be given at ISCR’s annual conference scheduled for January. The Awards honoured seniors in the industry who have shaped the industry by putting in place a sturdy infrastructure. It also recognised upcoming talent who were setting new standards in clinical excellence, building on the foundations laid by these stalwarts.

Study Coordinator of the Year – Dr Sunita Arora from VIMHANS.

Investigator of the Year –
(i) Dr Sanjay Kalra, Endocrinologist from Bharti Hospital, Karnal
(ii) Dr G. Prasad Rao, Consultant Psychiatrist, Asha Hospital, Hyderabad
(iii) Dr Madhuri Behari, Professor and head of department, Neurology, AIIMS, New Delhi.

Study Manager of the Year
(i) Dr Jayashri Krishnan from Neeman Medical
(ii) Swapnali Raut from Pfizer.

CRA of the Year
(i) Kunal Shah, Siroclinpharm
(ii) Shilpa Agarwal, Novartis.

Special Awards:
i.) “Notable initiative to shape clinical research environment in India” – Seth GS Medical College & KEM Hospital
ii.) “Notable contribution to clinical research fraternity” – Dr Narges Mahaluxmivala, Sr Advisor, Quintiles India.
iii.) Lifetime Achievement Award – Dr Arun S Nanivadekar.