The Pondicherry University will soon set up a law school offering post graduation courses initially, Vice-Chancellor Prof Chandra Krishnamurthy said here on Friday.
Talking to Express on the sidelines of the ‘National Workshop and Industry-Academia Interaction Meet on Drugs and Pharmaceuticals - Research and Development’ at the Pondicherry University, Krishnamurthy said the law school would open in the coming academic year and admissions would be based on a selection test.
During the conference, she said a patent cell would begin functioning from the coming academic year. The cell would create awareness about patent registration among research scholars and academia.
A meeting was held on Thursday to discuss the setting up of the cell, the V-C added.
JIPMER director Dr T S Ravikumar, while delivering the inaugural address, said efforts were on to have a robust clinical trial infrastructure in place at major medical research institutes in the country. “Unfortunately, clinical trials have fallen flat because of the death of patients, which has caused a lot of suspicion in the minds of patients undergoing clinical trials. The clinical trials infrastructure would come up in research institutions like JIPMER, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, five regional centres, the PGI in Chandigarh and NIMHANS in Bangalore, he said.
Delivering a special address, Dr G J Samathanam, advisor and head of the technology development and transfer division in the Department of Science and Technology, Delhi, said “It is estimated that the global investment in drug R&D is to the tune of $1.2 trillion, out of which US alone shares 33.6 per cent, Europe 24.5 per cent, Japan and China 12.6 per cent each and India 2.1 per cent”.
Noting that new drug development was not only a knowledge intensive sector, but also resource intensive, Samathanam said the R&D of pharma industries at the global level cost around $70 billion. India occupies the 4th position by volume in the international generic drug market and 13th by value. Our country is now not only self-sufficient in its medical needs, but also exports drugs to more than 100 countries,” he said.
“The total turnover of the Indian pharmaceutical industry is around Rs 1.26 lakh crore. The global pharma industry is growing at an annual growth rate of 8 per cent, while the Indian pharma sector has registered a whopping 14 per cent growth,” he noted. Samathanam stressed the need for the Indian pharma industry to invest in Novel Drug Discovery Research (NDDR) to come up with new drugs at affordable costs.
“Our country has the advantage of a rich heritage in traditional medicinal knowledge systems like Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani, which have not been scientifically substantiated. There is a need to standardise these systems and make them evidence-based, effective and reproducible,” he said.
The Government of India encourages pharma industries to develop new drugs and scientifically validate and standardise Indian systems of medicine, the DST head said. Pointing out that nearly 75 per cent of the investment in R&D comes from a government source, Samathanam said there was an urgent need to enable private industries invest in pharma R&D.