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India to unveil second swine flu vaccine
New Delhi, Jul 9 (IANS):
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Published on 10 Jul. 2010 12:20 AM IST
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India will soon unveil a second vaccine to battle swine flu that has erupted again, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said Friday.
The disease has affected more than 15,000 people in the past one year and claimed 16 lives last week in the country. “We did not have a vaccine for flu earlier. H1N1 came as a blessing in disguise as we could develop a vaccine,” Azad told a national seminar here on recent trends in pharmacy education and practice.
“We requested the pharmaceutical companies for the vaccine. They came up with it in just eight months,” he said. The first indigenous swine flu vaccine was manufactured by pharmacy giant Zydus Cadila and launched last month. “The next vaccine will be launched soon,” Azad said, without disclosing the name of the manufacturer.
The seminar was inaugurated by President Pratibha Patil, who congratulated the health ministry for the development of India’s first swine flu vaccine in a short period of time. Most swine flu cases have come from Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.
Meanwhile, President Pratibha Devisingh Patil on Friday said that pharmacy education in the country should be constantly revised and updated to meet tomorrow’s challenges.
Speaking at the National Seminar on Recent Trends in Pharmacy Education and Practice here, Patil emphasised that there is a need to create awareness about the role of pharmacists in the health care delivery.
“For this educators will need to develop an environment to create well rounded pharmacists who are knowledgeable and aligned with the health care needs of people,” she added.
“The common goal of the health sector, pharmaceuticals industries and the pharmaceutical profession should be to protect the well being of patients in all parts of the world,” she said.
Speaking on the occasion, Health and Family Affairs Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said that Indian pharma sector has witnessed a phenomenal growth in the recent years and is considered worldwide as the source of good quality, low cost generic drugs.
He said that pharmacists cannot only act as dispensers of good quality and cheap drugs but also act as watchdogs to counter the menace of spurious drugs in the country.
He encouraged the pharmacists to join the teams working in the rural areas.
He also announced that the Health Ministry will reward Rs 12 crore to the contractor who builds the recently announced six All India Institutes of Medical Sciences in the country before the announced deadline.

 
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