Posted on February 10, 2020

As part of its aim to integrate science and practice, Qatar University’s (QU) College of Pharmacy (CPH) organized a visit for its pharmacy students to visit Qatar Pharma, the first pharmaceutical manufacturer in Qatar. The visit also comes as part of ongoing efforts to strengthen ties between industry and academia.

The visit to Qatar Pharma was organized within the scope of the Pharmaceutics course, which is a science-led subject for the application of scientific knowledge to design medicines that improve the quality of people's lives.

These visits allow students to learn how the industry applies science to create a wide range of essential medicines. It also strengthens their capability to meet the challenges and demands of practicing in the community, hospital and industrial settings. Dr. Ahmed Al-Sulaiti, Chairman of Qatar Pharma, warmly welcomed the student delegation supervised by Prof. Katerina Gorachinova, Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at CPH, and encouraged them to pursue careers in this highly productive and innovative sector of the economy.

Qatar Pharma is the leading sterile dosage forms manufacturer in Qatar committed to providing local and international markets with safe and effective small and large volume parenteral solutions, eye drops, and hemodialysis solutions. They also manufacture topical dosage forms like creams, lotions, and solutions and their future mission involves science-based development of affordable, highly effective, safe and high-quality solid dosage forms. During the visit, Dr. Halim Jaffer, General Manager at Qatar Pharma and his team showed the students the cleanroom facilities and explained the terminal sterilization and aseptic processing in sterile products manufacturing. The students were then shown the quality control laboratory, to view the finished product quality control tests.

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CPH Dean Dr. Mohammad Diab commented on the visit saying, “One of the main goals of the college is to integrate knowledge with practical experiences to enhance students’ development and career path. The role of pharmacists in Qatar, the Middle East and the world has grown from simply dispensing medications to becoming valued providers of health care services.” He added, “Exploring Qatar’s pharmaceutical industry through Qatar Pharma is a means to allow the integration of knowledge and practice thus engaging students and making their experiences more comprehensible and knowledge related. This lies under the main objective of the MoU between Qatar University and Qatar Pharma in developing and carrying out collaborative activities.”

Commenting on the fruitful visit, Prof. Katerina Gorachinova said: "In our contemporary society, the role of the pharmacist is evolving very fast. Only innovative teaching methods, which integrate theory with practice, are productive. Through the visit, students had the opportunity to view the application of parts of the Pharmaceutics II curriculum in an industrial setting.  They observed the implementation of sterile compounding and manufacturing standards that support the best care of patients. We hope for many more educational trips to Qatar Pharma in the future."

Second-year Pharmacy student Ms. Laila Shafei said: “Qatar Pharma has shown us the journey of each drug from being a chemical substance to a proper medicine on the shelf in the market, and what happens behind the scenes for all these medications to be valid for patients’ use.” Another student, Ms. Halima Saadia added, “During the visit to Qatar Pharma, we realized how critical the role of a pharmacist is in drug production. We also got more information and insight on marketing and various job opportunities.” Pharmacy student Ms. Nebras Galal said, “The Qatar Pharma visit allowed us to observe the application of pharmaceutics concepts from our lectures in real-time systems and gave us additional insights into IV medication safety.”