The Association of Health Universities of India (AHUI) has called for lifting of restrictions on conducting clinical trials in order to develop affordable drugs.
“If we want to grow in size, we need clinical trials,” Dr Arun V Jamkar, Vice-Chancellor, Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS), Nashik and Chairman of the AHUI, said.
“There might be some untoward incidents, but that does not mean that it is bad. It is just like goondagardi that exists in society,” Dr Jamkar told Express on the sidelines of the third conclave of V-Cs of Health Universities of India here on Monday.
Following Supreme Court’s intervention on clinical trials of drugs developed abroad last October, regulations governing them were made stringent. All clinical trials need to be approved by a committee and parts of trials need to take place in state-run hospitals.
“After the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) agreement, we are not getting enough drugs in the country and its availability is an issue. Unless we create our own drugs, we will not be able to afford them. However, clinical trials need to be streamlined and proper preventions have to be put in place. The Indian Council of Medical Research and universities have to work together. Clinical trials per se are not bad,” Dr Jamkar explained.
Dr Jamkar said a new pharmaceutical medicine course in MUHS was started to train doctors in in development of drugs.
Further, health universities will now get Central funding through the University Grants Commission (UGC) as it has consented to include them under Section 12(B) of the UGC Act, he said.
“The AHUI is a pressure group and we have managed to get this done. But we need to have teaching departments and accreditation by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council,” he said.