REPORT ON FIELD TRIP TO BAL PHARMA
“Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance”.
Science Forum had organized a field trip to Bal Pharma, a leading Indian Pharmaceutical Company located on the outskirts of Bangalore in Bommasandra, on the 10th of June, 2010. A group of 32 students accompanied by two teachers – Mr. Rimmy Augustine and Mr. Siluvai Adimai were a part of this trip.
Bal Pharma specializes in manufacturing of prescription drugs, generics, OTC products, intravenous infusion and bulk activities with almost 19 years experience and is dedicated to the cause of making a quality health care a global phenomenon. A well-trained team of 40 men form the different departments of the faculty. Mr. Prasanna and the staff from Human Resource Department gave an insight of the campus describing in great detail the activities taking place.
Phase 1: The first visit made by the students was to the laboratory. In this unit, there were researchers, conducting research on various drugs in gram scale. The lab was sophisticated with instruments like chromatographic plates, hoots and many others. The scientists use spectroscopy technique to arrive at the structure of the drug molecules. The environment is maintained very neat and clean as minimum of 99.95% purity is necessary for any drug to be approved by the Quality Control Unit.
Phase 2: Quality Control Unit was the next unit that was visited. It is considered as the most important unit as the quality and purity of all the drugs are checked before they enter the Manufacturing Unit. It is also called the ‘Wet Lab’. The main technique used in quality and purity check is ‘Chromatography’. The sub units of this unit include Gas Chromatographic Unit, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Unit, Liquid Chromatographic Unit and many others.
Phase 3: Manufacturing Unit is the next step in the manufacture of drugs. In this unit, drugs are manufactured in scales of gallons and tons. This is done in large cylindrical vessels made of stainless steel and glass lined conductors. The solid products mixed in a solvent medium are separated by a centrifuge apparatus. They are filtered by synthetic cloth.
Phase 4: The last unit is the Water Treatment Unit which is the heart of the pharmacy. Very good water saving and water treating units are adopted. Rain water harvesting is done and the water collected is checked for bacteria, ionic salts and other impurities and removed using chlorination technique. Then the water is subjected to UV rays, and several other units. The residual water is used for gardening purposes.
On the whole, the students had a very productive outing, which helped them acquaint with the complexities of industrial science.
Sangeetha Govind, Student Representative, Science Forum