The Sri Lanka Chamber of the Pharmaceutical Industry (SLCPI) held its AGM last week in which representatives of 60 pharmaceutical companies met to elect their 2008/9 committee.
Adrian Basnayake was unanimously re-elected President, the chamber said in a press release with Ananda Samarasinge and Vish Govindasamy re-elected vice-presidents and Palitha Samarasinghe as Secretary.
The President pointed out that the key challenges for the coming year was to continue to upgrade the quality of the medical representative and to instill in them a high level of product knowledge, improved communication skills and above all to inculcate in them, a sense of professionalism.
Speaking of plans for the new year, he said the sub committee appointed under the leadership of Stuart Chapman, Managing Director of GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals has developed the blue print for the Certificate / Diploma courses for medical representatives. "To implement this it will require top and middle management commitment and front line manager’s perseverance. We need to make it highly desirable for all new recruits to do these courses as soon as they join the industry. That is before they look at career options such as CIM or SLIM,” he said.
Mr Basnayake said 2007 was a watershed year for the SLCPI where several new regulations were introduced to the industry and the chamber itself took on a more self regulatory role towards its member companies in maintaining standards.
The SLCPI worked closely with the Ministry of Health in improving standards in the pharma industry. A new Code of Pharmaceutical Marketing Practices and a Code of Conduct for Medical Representatives were introduced while the chamber also educated the public on their points of view on the generic versus branded drugs debate and several articles were published placing the facts for consideration by the public, the statement said.