President’s Voice

Indian Medical Pharmacologists Association (IMPA) is an association for medical pharmacologists to interact and disseminate the knowledge of clinical pharmacology and therapeutics.IMPA is the only association exclusively for MD/DM/DNB Pharmacologists/Clinical Pharmacologists in India. This is formed by a team of young and dynamic MD pharmacologists with the guidance from the senior pharmacologists. IMPA registered under the Tamilnadu Societies Registration Act: #173/2014.

The idea to form IMPA struck in my mind when I attended the World Congress of Clinical and Basic Pharmacology (WCP) 2014, Capetown, for which I was given registration and travel bursaries by IUPHAR, to present my research papers on Type 2 diabetes. There I felt an immense need of change in the way that pharmacology is being currently taught to the students, both under graduates and post graduates. Later in the year when I attended a workshop on Pharmacogenomics at JIPMER 2014, for which ICMR had sponsored JIPMER, Puducherry to train candidates in the field of molecular biology and pharmacogenomics, I was taken aback to know that a total of 200+ participants, 20 per year for 10 years, have been trained in India and still pharmacogenomics remains an elusive dream than a reality. It was then I felt that there was a need to impart clinical case based teaching using case based discussions, pharmacokinetics knowledge for promoting rational prescribing, implementing centres for therapeutic drug monitoring and pharmacogenomics laboratories in all government and private hospitals. Further, I decide to use the term “Bedside Pharmacology”, which means extrapolating the knowledge about drugs from the bench to bedside. As how bedside medicine/surgery is being taught at the clinics, bedside pharmacology should be taught during the practical hours. This needs a lot of revision and updated in the current content and the method of teaching. And these changes cannot be brought by a single person. Thus IMPA was started by a group of likeminded MD Pharmacologists to bring about a change in the current pharmacology practice.

Few of Our Activities:

  • Webinars: IMPA takes pride to announce the conductance of webinar free of cost for its members.The topics shall be covering the various aspects of industrial pharmacology with real-life scenario discussions. Here the participants can interact with the medical pharmacologists from the pharmaceutical industry and ask their queries. The video recordings of the webinar will be available online in future for later reference and also for the members of IMPA who missed to attend the event.
  • Whatsapp/Facebook based e-teaching: Few topics regarding clinical pharmacology, real life situations at a trial site or clinical cases will be given by the DM graduates to all the MD postgraduates and assistant/associate professors for discussion and the contents of the discussion are summarized by the myself or the volunteers for that particular day/week to upload on a cloud service so that it can be shared with others on the Facebook group | Indian Medical Pharmacologists Association (IMPA) |
  • Separate web-space for MD pharmacologists to connect and interact | This will ease the interaction of academia and industry. Also, this will provide a user friendly interface for knowledge sharing, staying updated on drug releases, regulatory amendments and also a good crowd sourcing platform for corporate clients.
  • Revision in the MD curriculum: IMPA has formed a committee which has drafted the requirements to be included in a revised curriculum.This will be circulated to all the eminent pharmacologists to get the feedback.

Apart from this, steps are being taken to form a scientific committee to periodically review the amendments and orders released by DCGI, CDSCO or UGC and send them suggestions on the same.

The Need for IMPA

Pharmacology is a rapidly evolving field. In India, it all started when the Association of Physiologists and Pharmacologists (APPI) was formed and the budding field of pharmacology had its first association for itself in independent India. In due course pharmacologists felt the need for a separate space for themselves and so the Indian Pharmacological Society (IPS) was formed. It included pharmacologists from all the field of research including medicine, dentistry, Veterinary, AYUSH, basic sciences etc. It has been four and half decade since the origin of IPS which grew bigger and stronger. Recently IPS represented India under the purview of Indian National Science Academy (INSA) at the World Congress of Clinical and Basic Pharmacology (WCP) 2014, Capetown organized by International Union of Pharmacology (IUPHAR). Never to forget the efforts of those pioneers in IPS, who had set the tone in India which eventually got waned as the time progressed.Further recently an association named Indian Society for Rational Pharmacotherapeutics (ISRPT) was formed in 2007, which again was not exclusive to MD/DNB/DM Pharmacologists as they included any eligible doctor (MBBS/BDS/BHMS/BAMS) to be its member. Eventually people have failed to differentiate medical pharmacologists from pharmacologists of allied branches. It’s not about who is being superior to the other, but acquiring the medical knowledge through MBBS practice demands a separate platform for MD/DM/DNB pharmacologists to unite, explore and innovate. Hence Indian Medical Pharmacologists Association (IMPA) was formed by a team of like-minded MD Pharmacologists. This represents a new era in medical pharmacology practice as IMPA is exclusively for MD/DNB/DM Pharmacologists. IMPA ensembles young and also experienced pharmacologistsboth in the academia as well as in the pharmaceutical industry.The inaugural meet of IMPA was held at Hotel Ananda Inn, Puducherry on November 21st, 2014 which was attended by post graduates, industry and academia faculties withgreat fervour.

Few things should bewell understood. First, IMPA is not a competing or counter society for the existing societies in India as each society has its own aims and objectives. Second, it is not to segregate the fellow pharmacologists of allied fields. As it is evident that splinter bodies have been formed for physiology, Pharmacy, veterinary, Ayurveda etc, it is high time for themedical pharmacologists to have their own association. Third, IMPA is looking forward tocollaborate with INSA to promote medical pharmacology practice in India which is in a lock-down state with no updates and revision being made in the MBBS and MD pharmacology curriculum for a long time.

The outcomes of this un-updated teaching:
(i) doctors practicing irrational prescriptions and hence paved way for the birth of super bugs and many more.
(ii) The failure to produce a single NCE from India.Keeping these things in mind, the aims and objective of IMPA were framed.

And to be honest there are no hard and fast short/mid/long term goals as we don't want to be restricted by a time frame. But this doesn't mean IMPA lacks vision. This is a group of novice but enthusiastic likeminded people whose main goal is to promote pharmacology in the field of clinical research and therapeutics. This will equip the MD post graduate students before applying for a job and help prevent shifting from one field to another just due to lack of interest. And also will avoid shunting from industry to academia and vice versa.

Dr.M.Natesh Prabhu | President: IMPA

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