Enjoying the experience of the unsurpassed delight that I gain whenever I connect with you, I start this March 2021 edition of Oviya MedSafe‘s newsletter (the 102nd in the series since April 2012), while recalling the vivid memories of this day on which I released the maiden issue of our newsletter nine years ago. Naturally, it happened within a short period from the time I founded Oviya MedSafe. Yes; you read it right: Oviya MedSafe celebrated its 9th birthday on 14th March 2021, and has just entered its 10th year of life 😊
As we as an organization prepare to celebrate this milestone throughout the tenth year, I thought of taking this opportunity to share with you why I thought of creating a startup focused on Pharmacovigilance a decade ago and whether Oviya MedSafe as it is today has lived up to the expectations I set for myself as its Founder. As a medical doctor who specialized in Diabetology but serendipitously ventured into Drug Safety, it was only a matter of time before I consciously decided to dedicate myself to Pharmacovigilance. That I had come back to my hometown (Coimbatore, one of the most developed second tier cities in India) and set up my clinical practice before that point in time meant that I could only begin something in the form of training courses. This was quite logical too as the term Pharmacovigilance was almost unheard of in the region then, with the complete absence of the pharmaceutical industry in the city just making the challenge bigger. Nevertheless, the next couple of years of my involvement in introducing Pharmacovigilance to young minds and facilitating the initiation of their careers in the domain sowed the seeds of entrepreneurship in me which led me to conceptualize Oviya MedSafe.
That was a time when the outsourced Pharmacovigilance industry was gaining strong foothold in India. However, such business units in Pharmacovigilance were located exclusively in the first tier cities. I wondered why only a few cities had to house this industry whilst there were innumerable educational institutions throughout the country capable of providing staff having relevant qualification for working in the field of Pharmacovigilance. Many of such talented people had logistical, cultural and other practical limitations which made them resist the idea of choosing Pharmacovigilance for a career albeit the industry being ready to hire them immediately if they agreed to relocate. I strongly felt that if Pharmacovigilance activities for compliance with the US FDA or EMA requirements could be performed in India’s first tier cities, it only meant that proper training was provided. Accordingly, I hypothesized that it should not be impossible for such work to be done in second tier cities in India provided that the same standards of training were provided. Thanks to the unshakeable trust we had in what we were doing and with the proactive contributions of our team, we built a self-funded sustainable model.
Coming to my assessment of Oviya MedSafe’s journey so far, I can easily say that it was never easy but that has always been the reason for it to be interesting as well. I see today that we have evolved as a Subject Matter Expert organization in Pharmacovigilance, for pharma, CRO and other clients in the space. We are empowered by our strong foundation of domain expertise, which I wish to call as our “niche nucleus” in Pharmacovigilance that has attracted all types of clients to us. Thanks to our women-friendly working environment and excellence fuelled by all our team members, we are poised for exemplary growth.
I wish to conclude this letter with a piece of personal good news which I would like to dedicate to my team members for all their support: I have been re-elected to the Executive Committee of the Indian Society for Clinical Research (ISCR) for a 2-year period from April 2021 to March 2023. It is my pride to have been able to serve ISCR as an Executive Committee Member since 2013. I take this opportunity to thank all my past, present and future colleagues at ISCR for trusting me throughout.
On this occasion, I once again resolve to stand firm by my commitment for promoting ethical biomedical practices ranking high on Scientific Temper and consequently for the advancement of evidence-based medicine for augmenting the benefits that humankind can beget of reasoning. With all of your good wishes, I energetically continue my ever-enthusiastic journey towards this long-nurtured ambition, with my passion for Pharmacovigilance illuminating my path ahead, as it has always done since it adopted me!
Eager to meet you through our April 2021 newsletter soon,
With thanks & regards,
Dr J Vijay Venkatraman
MBBS, F. Diab., MBA, FPIPA (UK)
Managing Director & CEO,
Oviya MedSafe Pvt Ltd,
Oviya MedSafe UK Ltd,