"After the IT sector, the pharmaceutical sector has a huge potential to drive the economy of this country and we can achieve this by empowering our pharmacists. There are immense challenges in this sector and we must work hard to become the global leader," Singh said.
He was speaking at the inaugural session of the 65th Indian Pharmaceutical Congress (IPC). The theme of the conference is Vision 2020: Empowering Pharmacist.
The main objective of the three-day conference is to discuss the role of pharmacists, development of the industry, drug research, issues related to the manufacturing sector, pharmaceutical education, regulatory measures and other allied areas.
President of the 65th IPC Atul Kumar Nasa said for the empowerment of pharmacists it is essential to have a single regulatory body.
"The empowerment of pharmacists is a new perspective. It is hence imperative at this stage that pharmacy education has a single regulatory control and all powers should be vested with the Pharmacy Council of India," Nasa said.
"The body should have complete authority and accountability to improvise the educational standards at all levels," he added.
He said there is a need for augmented efforts to complete this process at the highest level, and for parliament to make necessary amendments with immediate effect.
Vishwa Mohan Katoch, secretary, department of health research, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said there is a need to reach out to the people to create awareness about the sector.
"I urge the associations and institutions working in this sector to coordinate with the government at the regulatory and administrative level to work towards improving the system to make a difference," said Katoch.
--IANS (Posted on 20-12-2013)