Krisana Kraisintu, Ph.D
Professor Dr. Krisana Kraisintu is the President of Krisana Kraisintu Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation for humanitarian, social and community works in Thailand and overseas. Professor Kraisintu also holds academic positions such as Member of the Board of Trustees, Prince of Songkla University, Thailand, Visiting Professor of Oriental Medicine at Harbin Institute of Technology, China, and Visiting Professor at Saint Paul’s University Philippines, Tuguegarao, Cagayan. Between 2010 – 2017, Professor Krasintu was Rector of College of Oriental Medicine and Honorary Dean of Faculty of Pharmacy, Rangsit University, Thailand. From August 2014 – November 2016, Professor Kraisintu was appointed by the Royal Thai Government as a Board Member of The Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) of Thailand and President of the Board of Thai Herbal Products Co. Ltd., overseeing the overhaul of public medicine manufacturing, the completion of the construction of the modern ARV Plant in Thailand and the upgrading of herbal medicine manufacturing in an integrated manner to the international standards.
Professor Kraisintu was formerly Director of Research and Development Institute, The Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO), Ministry of Public Health, Thailand. Between 2002 – 2007, she worked as a Pharmaceutical Consultant for action medeor, a German non-profit Aid organization dealing with local production and distribution of medicines in Africa. She is also a Pharmaceutical Consultant in the local production and increased access to life-saving medicines in Africa, in particular, in the domains of malaria and HIV/AIDS-related drug production.
Professor Kraisintu received her Bachelor degree in Pharmacy from Chiengmai University, Thailand in 1975, M.Sc. in Pharmaceutical Analysis from Strathclyde University, U.K. in 1978 and Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from University of Bath, U.K. in 1981. Over the past 40 years, she has worked in the pharmaceutical industry in various roles of quality assurance, manufacturing, research and development and business development for the discovery, development and commercialization of chemical and natural pharmaceutical products.
Pharmaceutical and educational work in Thailand
From 1992 to 2002, Professor Kraisintu worked on the formulation development and bioequivalence studies of HIV/AIDS -related drugs. Her unwavering conviction of AIDS as a social issue and her dedication to increase access to HIV/AIDS treatment in Thailand resulted in the successful research and generic manufacturing of Zidovudine (AZT) that prevented the mother-to-child HIV transmission in 1992. Her achievement raised the pharmaceutical and health profile of Thailand as the first developing country to manufacture generic HIV/AIDS drugs. In 2001 Professor Kraisintu developed one of the first generic ARV fixed-dose combinations, which was chosen by WHO as the first regimen treatment for HIV/AIDS patients in poor countries. In Thailand, this drug (GPO-VIR) is used in the national HIV/AIDS treatment programme, making it free of charge for 150,000 patients. It is made available due to the fact that Professor Kraisintu’s formulation drastically reduces the prices of the finished products from the original prices. In sum, the cost of HIV/AIDS treatment in Thailand for a patient is lower from 570 – 850 US Dollars to 27 US Dollars per person per month. Professor Kraisintu further developed 5 other types of antiretroviral drugs for the patients. Her invention enables GPO to export antiretroviral drugs to neighbouring countries of Thailand such as Burma, Lao, Cambodia and Vietnam where poor patients are in great need of high quality and affordable drugs.
During her tenure as Director of Research and Development Institute of GPO (from 1987 to 2002), Professor Kraisintu developed 64 herbal based- medicinal products ranging from medicines to supplementary food and cosmetics in addition to various medicines for the treatment of diabetes, high blood pressure, high level of cholesterol and specific drugs for children. As a consequence, Thai patients are able to afford high quality medicines and enjoy a long and healthy life.
Professor Kraisintu continues her humanitarian mission in healthcare in different regions of Thailand especially in the three southern border provinces, namely Yala, Pattani and Narathiwas, the predominantly Muslim population of the far South where underdevelopment, alienation and insecurity prevail. Her project is known as
“Langkasuka model” which is a network of the development of herbal medicine and herbal medicinal products for better healthcare of the people in the three provinces. Langkasuka model focuses on the empowerment of the community to make a decision to strengthen the healthcare of their members through the cultivation of herbal plants and the production of herbal medicine within the local areas. The model encompasses all stakeholders in the localities and reaches out to the private sector and markets in Thailand. Since 2009, Professor Kraisintu has supervised and assisted local hospitals in the construction of herbal medicine factories and herbal raw material factory in the three provinces. Furthermore, she has conducted trainings for the farmers, women and volunteers in the local communities on Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) and post-harvest technology of medicinal plants in order to improve their families’ health wellbeing and to earn income by sending their raw materials for drug production at the factory of Rangsit University and Thai Herbal Products Co. Ltd. Her determination, sincerity and devotion to improve the quality of life for the disadvantaged communities in the far south have earned her respect, trust and admiration among the religious leaders, community leaders, government officials, women and young people alike.
Langkasuka model includes the setting up of a herbal medicine manufacturing unit inside Chanae Hospital in Narathiwas province, a herbal medicine factory (GMP) inside the Crown Prince Saiburi Hospital and a herbal raw material processing plant inside Kapor Hospital in Pattani province and a herbal medicine manufacturing facility inside the Crown Prince Yaha Hospital in Yala respectively. Her regular trips to Southern Thailand raise the standards of herbal medicine production in an integrated manner among hospitals in the South and the strengthening of Herb Hub network between Prince of Songkla University and Provincial health offices in the South of Thailand. She has also set up the Roadmap for Southern Herbal Medicine Development covering 11 provinces in Southern Thailand.
In 2018, Professor Kraisintu invented Thailand’s first mobile herbal plant processing truck. The truck itself was donated by ThaiBev (Thai Beverage Public Company Limited). Professor Kraisintu and her team designed and installed tailored-made herbal medicine processing machines in the back of the truck as well as carried out vigorous operational test in the production of dry Curcumin to preserve its high active ingredient. The mobile herbal plant processing truck will service the herbal plant cultivation communities in the south of Thailand.
Since 2018, Professor Kraisintu and the Suan Saranrom Public Mental Health Hospital in Surathani province in the south of Thailand, have implemented the “Suan Sarnarom Model” to rehabilitate patients suffering from the mental effect of narcotic drugs, all of them young men, by the use of herbal medicine for the symptoms of drug withdrawal and training them on herbal medicine cultivation and processing. In this way, patients will be able to start a whole new life with a way of living and earning income which will also help them to reintegrate into their communities.
In January 2019, Professor Kraisintu in collaboration with the UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific initiated a project on Women’s Economic Empowerment to Prevent Human Trafficking in Tak province, the border town of Thailand with Myanmar. The majority of the women are irregular migrants working in low-skilled workforce and are at risk of different form of exploitations including trafficking.
At present, Professor Kraisintu is working in cooperation with universities, hospitals and organizations in the Philippines, Indonesia, China, Turkey, Peru, the Netherlands and African countries on a number of projects in herbal medicine, sustainable development, establishment of drug factory, exchange of expertise in research, formulation, development, industrial production and quality control of modern medicine and herbal medicine as well as health supplement products.
Pharmaceutical and educational work overseas
Since 2002, Professor Kraisintu has dedicated her time, energy and efforts for humanitarian purpose of assisting 17 poor African countries to establish local pharmaceutical production. Her goal is two-fold; first utilizing her expertise and experience in guiding these countries to build high standard pharmaceutical factories and second to transfer the technology in the production and quality control of essential medicines such as antimalarial and antiretroviral drugs on an industrial scale to local health and pharmaceutical personnel. The ultimate result is self-reliant and sustainable access to life-saving medicines for the patients.
From 2002 to 2005 Professor Kraisintu provided technical assistance and know-how to Pharmakina in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the setting up of an ARV plant and the manufacturing of ARV fixed-dose combination known as AFRI-VIR. At the same time, she was responsible for the construction of an ARV plant and an antimalarial drug unit at Tanzania Pharmaceutical Industry (TPI) in Arusha. Subsequently, TPI was able to manufacture artemisinin-based anti-malarial drugs for both adults and paediatric patients in 2003 and ARV fixed-dose combination known as TT-VIR in October 2005.
Professor Kraisintu continues to be active in pharmaceutical production of essential drugs in Africa. From 2006 to 2008, Professor Kraisintu was invited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand to spearhead the humanitarian projects on the transfer of technology in the local production of antimalarial and antiretroviral drugs in West African countries, namely Senegal, Gambia, Burkina Faso, Mali and Gabon and in East African countries, namely Tanzania, Ethiopia and Uganda, in Burundi and Zambia. This close collaboration resulted in the capacity building and competence of the health personnel in the concerned countries, who are now able to manufacture antimalarial drugs for their respective needs. In particular, the personnel of l’Usine Malienne de Produits Pharmaceutiques (U.M.P.P.), the public factory in Mali mastered the techniques and underwent intensive training (both production and quality control) to produce co-blistered of artesunate and amodiaquine tablets as well as fixed-dose combination of artesunate and amodiaquine in one single tablet, the first African country to accomplish this spectacular pharmaceutical achievement.
In September 2008 Professor Kraisintu traveled to Saint Camillus Hospital in Karungu, Kenya in response to the invitation of Father Emilio Balliana, Director of the hospital to train the hospital personnel in the production of artesunate suppositories.
From 2008 to 2009, Professor Kraisintu initiated 2 projects within the framework of bilateral and technical cooperation between Thailand and Burundi to foster capacity-building and local production of antimalarial drugs in the Republic of Burundi. Her endeavour led to the setting up of a pharmaceutical production unit in Bujumbura with capacity of manufacturing artesunate suppositories and artesunate and amodiaquine tablets for both children and adults.
In 2009 Professor Kraisintu established a specialized unit for research and development of herbal medicines and a manufacturing facility at Harbin Institute of Technology in China.
Professor Kraisintu worked with the Mozambican government in constructing and equipping a pharmaceutical factory in Nacala, Northeast Mozambique. She completed the training course for two Mozambican pharmacists in the production and quality control of medicines at the Faculty of Pharmacy, Rangsit University in 2010.
Since September 2018, Professor Kraisintu has traveled to Peru in Latin America by the invitation of the Royal Thai Embassy in Lima to lead Thailand – Peru Project on Rehabilitation of the vulnerable people from Narcotic drugs by Herbal Medicine and its income-generating livelihood which receives very positive endorsement and cooperation from the concerned Peruvian public agencies and NGOs.
Awards and Achievements
- A Gold Medal at Eureka 50th World Exhibition of Innovation, Research and New Technology, Brussel, Belgium, 2001.
- “Global Scientific Award 2004” by The Letten Foundation as a recognition of Professor Kraisintu’s outstanding scientific contribution in the field of HIV/AIDS.
- Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science from Mount Holyoke College, USA, May 2005.
- Reminders Day AIDS Award 2005 (ReD Awards) in Berlin, Germany, August 2005.
- Honorary Degree of Doctor of Pharmacy from Chiengmai University, Thailand in January 2006.
- Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science from Strathclyde University, U.K., June 2006
- “2007 speaker for the Chancellor’s Distinguished Lectureship Series”, Louisiana State University’s premier lecture series, Louisiana State University, USA, April 2007.
- “Asian of the Year 2008” selected by Reader’s Digest Magazine, January 2008. Her profile was published in the magazine’s different languages editions in 26 countries around the world.
- The Prime Minister’s Office of Thailand has awarded Professor Kraisintu “an outstanding individual of Thailand in the field of Social Development for the year 2008”.
- “Citizen Hero Award” by Sanya Thammasak Institute for Democracy, University of Thammasart, Thailand, March 2009.
- “Honorary Pharmacist” by Hospital Pharmacists’ Society of Thailand, May 2009.
– Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science from University of Bath, U.K., July 2009.
– “Ramon Magsaysay Award for 2009 in Public Service” (Asia’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize) in acknowledgment of her placing pharmaceutical rigor at the service of patients, through her determined and fearless devotion to producing much needed-generic drugs in Thailand and elsewhere in the developing world, 31 August 2009.
– Honorary Degree of Doctor of Pharmacy from Prince of Songkla University, Thailand in September 2009.
- “Quality Persons 2010 in Science award” from Foundation of The Scientific and Technological Council of Thailand (FSTT), Ministry of Science and Technology, 19 October 2010.
- “An outstanding lady on the international arena award 2010” by the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security of Thailand on the occasion of 100th year of the International Women’s Day (8th March), 27 October 2010.
- Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science from King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology, Ladkrabang, Thailand, 12 November 2010.
- The Royal Thai Government selected Professor Kraisintu as one of the most prominent figures in Thai Society and televised her interview in Thailand’s State of the Union 2012 programme nationwide.
- Professor Dr. Krisana Kraisintu was bestowed a plague of honour by
– H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Siridhorn as Distinguished Thai Lady for the year 2013 on August 1st, the annual Thai Lady Day. Professor Kraisintu was unanimously selected in recognition of her pharmaceutical role in the service of humanity and as a role model for Thai Society and the young generations.
– The Medicinal Mushroom and Natural Products Association of Thailand elected Professor Dr. Krisana Kraisintu as its President on November 17, 2013. Professor Kraisintu is a leading Thai expert in the research and development of medicinal mushrooms and their derived health products in Thailand for over 35 years.
– Professor Dr. Krisana Kraisintu was selected by the UN to be “One of the World’s Women of Achievement”, nominated by UN Women Regional Office for Asia and Pacific and the article about her titled “The Good Doctor” was published on the website of UN Women worldwide on 22 May 2014.
– Professor Dr. Krisana Kraisintu was appointed a Board Member of The Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO), Thailand, on 19 August 2014.
– Professor Dr. Krisana Kraisintu was appointed the President of the Board of Thai Herbal Products Co. Ltd., in October 2015.
– Prince of Songkla University, Thailand, honoured Professor Kraisintu with the Songklanagarindra Remembrance Award in September 2016 in recognition of her tremendous efforts to develop herbal medicine and the healthcare of the people in southern Thailand through Langkasuka Model.
– Professor Kraisintu was presented with Professor Sangwien Intarawichai Award for 2016 by the Stock Exchange of Thailand Foundation for her prominent role in the development of education in Thailand.
– The Ministry of Social Development and Human Security of Thailand awarded Professor Kraisintu “The Role Model of Woman of Suratthani Province for 2018” on the occasion of the International Women’s Day 2018.
– The Iclif Leadership and Governance Centre presented Iclif Leadership Energy Awards 2018 under the Corporate Employee Category to Professor Kraisintu during its 6th Leadership Energy Summit Asia (LESA) in Kaula Lumpur, Malaysia, on 15 November 2018.
– The Community Hospital Pharmacist Society awarded Professor Kraisintu with the title “Pharmacist who makes great contribution to the health of the public” during the Symposium on “The Future Pharmacist” on 31 October 2019 at Centara Hotel, Bangkok.