Posted on January 21, 2019

As part of the continuous collaboration between Qatar University (QU) College of Pharmacy (CPH) and the industrial sector, QU students and faculty visit the Qatar Pharma factory, the first pharmaceutical manufacturer in Qatar.

This annual event takes place as part of the pharmaceutics class curriculum to provide students with insight into proper current manufacturing practices for sterile pharmaceutical products, best laboratory practices from a scientific perspective as well as understanding the business of drug production. These efforts are part of the boost in the pharmaceutical industry in Qatar, particularly after His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, called for greater medicinal security. Dr. Ahmed Al-Sulaiti, Chairman of Qatar Pharma, welcomed the visiting delegation of students under the supervision of Prof. Katerina Gorachinova, Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, at the College of Pharmacy and the organizer of the trip. The factory has been collaborating with the pharmaceutics lab since 2009, developing and testing products and raw material.

Prof. Gorachinova commented on the fruitful visit saying, “The position and role of a pharmacist in the industry, as well as formulation and production of safe and efficacious medicines has raised a lot of interest among this batch of students. The team from Qatar Pharma provided highly professional support and comprehensive descriptions of formulations and processes to best meet the defined target product profile. Qatar Pharma is a flagship pharmaceutical company compliant with the best standards and practices for sterile manufacturing and we are very happy with this collaboration and the opportunity given to the students to discover the role of the pharmacist in the pharmaceutical industry and gain industrial experience.”

The students toured the facility and were introduced to many aspects of manufacturing and testing the parenteral. Dr. Halim Jaffer, General Manager at Qatar Pharma explained how the factory has state-of-the-art plant machinery without human intervention to limit contamination. He also discussed the quality control measures at the plant. Qatar Pharma produces IV solutions, hemodialysis for kidney failure and a range of other products to meet Qatar’s hospital and clinical demands. The products are also exported to different parts of the world. Plans for the local manufacturer include ampules, vials, tables, capsules and syrups etc.

Second year pharmacy student Ms. Dhabya Al-Khater said, “I encountered an amazing experience during my visit to Qatar Pharma. I was so happy to learn more about drug manufacturing. I was proud and excited to know about the first pharmaceutical factory in Qatar. This experience opens new advanced doors to the future where we, as Qatari students and future pharmacists, are inspired to build our own future carrier in the industry and work to benefit and provide centered care that is high in quality and safety for the patient.”

Furthermore, and as part of the continuous focus on combining theory with practice in education, third year pharmacy students visited the National Center for Cancer Care & Research (NCCCR) a part of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC). This annual event took place as part of the pharmaceutical class curriculum, to provide the students with insight into radiopharmaceuticals use in practice. The NCCCR uses state-of-the-art technology to diagnose disease in specific body tissues.

The team at the NCCCR welcomed the visiting students and faculty under the supervision of Mrs. Sandi Ali-Adib, Clinical Lecturer in the pharmaceutical sciences department. They toured the facilities of positron emission topography (PET) scan unit, while Dr. Hadi Fayad, Medical Physicist at the occupational health & safety department PET/CT Center gave a brief introduction and explanation on PET/CT scan at Hamad Hospital. The students were introduced to the production of radio-isotopes by state-of-the-art cyclotron and also viewed the radio-pharmaceutical production quality control laboratory.

NCCCR members provided brief presentations that enriched the knowledge of students in this field. Samira Soares Waquil, a Radiopharmaceutical and Production Manager at the Cyclotron Laboratory said, “It is always a pleasure to have pharmacy students from Qatar University visiting Hamad Hospital’s Cyclotron Lab. It gives us the chance to share a little bit of our knowledge and experience in radio-pharmacy, a field that has been growing in recent years and is in much need of new professionals.”