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Year : 2006  |  Volume : 38  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 81

Book review

Mumbai, India

Correspondence Address:
Arun Nanivadekar
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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How to cite this article:
Nanivadekar A. Book review. Indian J Pharmacol 2006;38:81

How to cite this URL:
Nanivadekar A. Book review. Indian J Pharmacol [serial online] 2006 [cited 2023 Jan 30];38:81. Available from: https://www.ijp-online.com/text.asp?2006/38/1/81/19866

The Catalyst: A Tribute to a Professor. Edited and Published by K. S. Raghavan and V. S. Mathur. New Delhi. First Edition (2005). Pages 264. Price: not stated.

This is a montage of memoirs penned by associates, colleagues and students of Professor Ranjit Roy Chaudhury who has been striding the theater of pharmacology in India and abroad for half a century, touching all the three important aspects of research, education and service, and nurturing ideas, individuals and institutions.

The editors have grouped the articles under four headings according to Prof. Roy Chaudhury's fields of interest and activity: rational use of drugs; scientific research and education; traditional medicine; and personal. As a reader, I would place them into three categories according to the reason for turning to them.

Articles in the first category address mainly the subject matter, e.g., Prof. Alasdair Breckenridge's on regulation of medicines (p. 11), Dr Andrew Herxheimer's on talking to patients about medicines (p. 23), Dr B. N. Saxena's on population control (p. 65), Dr Mohan Nair's on R & D in the Indian pharmaceutical industry (p. 135), and Dr K. S. Raghavan's on neurohypophysial hormones (p. 161). Readers will find them good sources of information and useful references on these topics.

Articles in the second category describe specific projects or programs, Prof. Roy Chaudhury's role in getting them off the ground and keeping them flying, and what good they did to the workers and their communities, e.g., Prof. J. S. Bapna's on drug policy (p. 5), Dr Usha Gupta's on essential medicines list (p. 17), Dr V. S. Mathur's on Drug Bulletin, Mr R. Parameshwar's on drug financing, Dr Sangeeta Sharma's on standard treatment guidelines (p. 75), Dr Nikorn Dusitsin's on the impact of relevant research on national programs (p. 115), Dr V. S. Mathur's on development of teaching programs and academic courses (p. 129), Dr S. S. Handa's on standardization of herbal medicines, Dr V. S. Mathur's on preclinical evaluation of herbal drugs for fertility control, and Dr Urmila Thatte's on clinical research on herbal medicines (p. 215). These articles provide case studies to illustrate the approaches, attitudes and aptitudes necessary to initiate and sustain useful programs. They also reveal the qualities of Prof. Roy Chaudhury that facilitated cooperation and collaboration both within and between departments, institutions and organizations.

Articles in the third category are personal, illustrating how a nurturing person can enrich the lives and careers of those around him, e.g., Prof. Vir Chauhan's (p. 111), Dr Subhash Sharma's (p. 171), Dr Kamala Mathur's (p. 245), Prof. Suresh Sikka's (p. 253), Prof. Sarabjeet Singh's (p. 257) and Dr Ragini Vaishnav's (p. 261). These are heartfelt tributes that Prof. Roy Chaudhury will be proud of and cherish.

The book is well produced and bound, printed in easy-to-read typeface, and would have been enjoyable to see if it had carried photographs of some memorable events or occasions. It will be useful to those interested in the social aspects of pharmacology and drug therapy, in the development of traditional herbal medicines, and in human aspects of education and research in medical science. I wish the book also carried an article by the Catalyst himself, revealing what and who shaped his own philosophy and attitudes, and his secrets of getting along with diverse people on the way to enviable achievements[Figure - 1].


[Figure - 1]


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