Editor in Chief Dr KK Aggarwal, Padma Shri Awardee                                                                               Dated:01 December,2019

Today is World AIDS Day

The commemoration of World AIDS Day, on December 1, 2019, is an important opportunity to recognize the essential role that communities have played and continue to play in the AIDS response at the international, national and local levels.

The theme of this years World AIDS Day is "Communities make the difference". World AIDS Day offers an important platform to highlight the role of communities at a time when reduced funding and a shrinking space for civil society are putting the sustainability of services and advocacy efforts in jeopardy. Greater mobilization of communities is urgently required to address the barriers that stop communities delivering services, including restrictions on registration and an absence of social contracting modalities… (UN)

Remember the CMAAO - UU Campaign

Having an undetectable viral load when on HIV treatment (ART) also stops HIV transmission

For > 20 years it is known that ART reduces HIV transmission but now it is clear that the risk is not just reduced but stopped completely.

ART protects your partners.

You don’t need to use condoms if you were only using them to stop HIV provided you take ART every day and have undetectable viral load for at least three months and continue to take meds without missing doses.

The evidence for U=U comes from studies with both gay and straight couples, and for all types of sex.

There should be no doubt that a person with sustained, undetectable levels of HIV in their blood cannot transmit HIV to their sexual partners. ....read more

Never hurt the ego of a person

It is a well-known Vedic fact that if you hurt the ego of a person, he will never forgive you, especially, if you have insulted or implicated him in character assassination, or have cast implications about financial embezzlement or you call a woman as old or a man as impotent in public. For example, if I hurt the ego of a chowkidaar, next time if a patient comes to the hospital gate and asks where Dr. KK Aggarwal is, he only has to whisper, “Which Aggarwal? The one whose cases never survive?”

Also never hurt the ego of a person who is drunk. Under the influence of alcohol, a person loses his capacity to judge persons and situations. If you provoke him, he can be destructive and aggressive.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are my own).

Healthcare News Monitor

Ketamine - popular as a recreational drug, can help cure alcohol addiction, says a study
Times Now

Most people know Ketamine as an illegal drug. Ketamine was introduced 50 years ago as an anaesthetic and was used commonly as a horse tranquiliser. However, recently, the uses of ketamine have been explored and it has been found to have medicinal effects for certain mental health disorders. Used as a recreational drug at one point, ketamine is now proven to be a remedy for depression, PTSD, migraines, and even alcohol addiction, now, a recent study has found. The study, conducted by researchers from the University College, London, headed by Ravi Das, found that a single dose of ketamine can help people with alcohol addiction to cut down their alcohol addiction in half. It was also found that the remedy could prove helpful for other addictions as well. The researchers of the study explained in a press release that people develop drug or alcohol addictions because the substances exploit their brain's reward-learning system. This can lead to people associating the substance with certain environmental triggers, and when a person is faced with the triggers, he/she has an urge to drink.

Pharma Majors Offer Smartphones, Foreign Trips, E-Vouchers to Doctors to Push Products: Study
News Click

Calling for stringent marketing regulations for pharmaceutical companies, a report by a health rights organisation has brought to light some startling aspects of the tactics deployed by these companies to put “tremendous pressure” on medical representatives to push their products in the market via doctors. “From high value gifts like smartphones costing ?80,000, microwave ovens, tablets, silver items, gold jewellery to petro-cards, credit cards, e-vouchers for online shopping are trends in promotional practices among doctors,” the study said, as reported by Hindu Business Line. The study, which surveyed medical representatives across six cities, even suggested women being offered by some pharma companies, says a Times of India report. In its report on pharmaceutical marketing practices, Support for Advocacy and Training to Health Initiatives or SATHI, which works on health rights issues through civil society partnerships, such marketing malpractices by pharma majors are rampant in India What’s more, the medical representative respondents also disclosed that the pressure on them was “tremendous” adding to their stress levels as they were “tracked by their supervisors using iPads.” Medical representatives also cited that only 10-20% doctors follow the MCI code of ethics, while in some cases doctors even demand “incentives” to push a product. Noticeably, all this is happening even as the Union government still sits on a 2016 proposal to enforce a uniform marketing practices code for pharma companies, entailing stringent penalties. “A year and a half ago, a draft of regulatory codes which was sent to Law Ministry to reign in unethical practices under Essential Commodities Act was rejected. Yet, the Ministry of Health in a reply to a Right of Information (RTI) report said that the draft was being discussed,” Amitava Guha, co-convenor of Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, told Hindu Business Line.

More than 3,000 pharmacists to demonstrate against proposed amendment in Sch K of D&C Act in New Delhi at 2 pm today
Pharmabiz India - Peethaambaran Kunnathoor

More than 3,000 pharmacists, including leaders and members of 36 associations of pharmacists working in public and private sectors, will gather at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi at 2 pm today (November 29) to protest against the Union Health Ministry’s proposal to amend serial number 23 in Schedule K of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules to empower community health workers to dispense medicines. The national level agitation of pharmacists is being organized in the wake of the ministry’s proposal for amending Schedule K to empower Nurses, ANMs, ASHAs and Anganwadi workers for distribution of drugs in rural health centres in the light of National Health Policy 2017. Dispensing and handling of medicines should be made as per the norms of Pharmacy Act, and they should not be made as a duty to the untrained and incompetent people. Section 42 should be strictly implemented across the length and breadth of the country, demand pharmacists. According to reports, in the agitation, office-bearers of pharmacists’ bodies representing all states and union territories will participate. Members of associations in Delhi, Haryana and nearby states will attend in large numbers to make the program a successful one.