India, Russia decide to remove bottlenecks in pharma ties

India, Russia decide to remove bottlenecks in pharma ties

Moscow: Russia and India have agreed to remove bottlenecks in their cooperation in the field of pharmaceuticals, including clinical trials of new drugs, Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said on Friday.

“We have decided to send officials from both sides to sit on table either in New Delhi or Moscow to remove the bottlenecks, including clinical trials of new drugs," Azad told the Indian media after meeting his Russian counterpart Tatiana Golikova.

He is here on a four-day visit to attend the First Global Ministerial Conference on Healthy Lifestyles and Noncommunicable Disease Control organised by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

“We are well represented in the Russian pharma market and our companies suffer from the procedural delays in registration of new drugs," Azad said.

He did not rule out that officials from the two countries could agree on mutual recognition of clinical trials, although it was a very technical, scientific issue.

Thursday, Azad presented his keynote address at the global ministerial conference, attended by 94 health ministers and officials from 160 nations.

He also chaired the penal on the harmful use of alcohol, which he said “has a devastating impact on individuals, families, communities, societies and nations."

Azad said along with noncommunicable diseases like cancer, diabetes, cardio-vascular and respiratory diseases, alcohol abuse also poses a challenge to the public health.

He noted that in India the average age of initiation of alcohol has dropped to 17 years against 28 in 1980s.

“This means even that the school going children are now consuming alcohol," Azad said, expressing his concern.

Before leaving for home Saturday, he is also scheduled to meet with Indian students studying medicine in Russia.