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DIA expands into India with a new office and advisory council.
Due to India's rapidly growing biopharmaceutical market, the Drug Information Association (DIA; Horsham, PA) developed a plan to increase its presence in the country.
In a statement released by the company, Ron Fitzmartin, president of DIA's Board of Directors, said, "The interest in this region is global. So many of our existing North American, European, and Japanese members are looking at India as an important region in drug development. Our presence there means we can help our membership around the globe understand the evolving Indian pharmaceutical landscape while also providing impartial training forums and multidisciplinary perspectives for the growing number of Indian drug development professionals."
According to the DIA's Web site (www.diahome.org), the organization established an India Task Force as "a temporary resource to help DIA evaluate and refine its strategic plan in India. The task force recommended the establishment of a local office, expanded programming, the development of chapters, and student discounts."
The first step in the expansion process was the opening of a new office in Mumbai, which occurred this past April and marks DIA's fourth worldwide facility (the other three offices are located in Horsham, PA; Basel, Switzerland; and Tokyo, Japan). DIA also created a Provisional Advisory Council of India, which began meeting in April and is chaired by Dr. Nandkumar Chodankar, Watson Pharmaceutical's (Corona, CA) API division president. Currently, the council is made up of 13 members of academia, government agencies, and the pharmaceutical industry, who will help to jump start plans for DIA's functions in India, as well as establish volunteer networks, memberships, and suggestions for conferences and education and training opportunities in the area, such as DIA's first Indian Regulatory Conference, which was held April 28–29 in Mumbai, India.—Samantha Etkin