Editor in Chief Dr KK Aggarwal, Padma Shri Awardee                                                                               Dated:08 May,2020

Blood thinners may boost survival rates of Covid-infected patients: Study

WASHINGTON D.C: Treating coronavirus patients with blood thinners may help in boosting their prospects for survival, according to preliminary findings from physicians at New York City's largest hospital system that offers another source of hope in treating the deadly infection.
The Washington Post reported that the results of the analysis, conducted over 2,733 patients, were published on Wednesday in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. ....read more

CMAAO Coronavirus Facts and Myth Buster 87 Remdesivir Game Changer

(With inputs from Dr Monica Vasudeva)
792: What is Remdesivir:Remdesivir is an investigational antiviral under evaluation for COVID-19.
793: What are the preliminary reports:Emerging data from randomized trials are limited and mixed. Interim analysis of an unpublished trial of over 1000 patients with confirmed COVID-19 and pulmonary involvement has revealed that remdesivir yielded faster time to recovery (median 11 versus 15 days with placebo); a trend towards lower mortality was evident, although not statistically significant (8 versus 11.6 percent) [1]....read more

World Covid Meter 6th May

212 Countries affected, Crosses 3.72 M, Minimum Likely Deaths 265679, Expected Deaths to Cross 300,000 this Month:First reported Case: 10th January ,Total cases and numbers are based on RT PCR test which has only 67% sensitivity (no false positive). Total number likely to be higher by 5-33%. ....read more

Science behind regrets

In a US-based study, dying people were asked about their regrets, if any. The top five regrets were:
1.I wish I had the courage to live a life I wanted to live and not what others expected me to live.
2.I wish I had worked harder.
3.I wish I had the courage to express my feelings....read more

Video of The day

How to wash vegetables and fruits to prevent COVID infection



Healthcare News Monitor

Famotidine shortage in US may benefit Indian pharmaceutical companies
Business Standard

After common anti-acid drug famotidine shot to the limelight for being a potential treatment for Covid-19, the demand surge for the drug has led to a shortage in the US market. Some see this as an opportunity for Indian firms like Alembic, Aurobindo who make both the bulk drug and the formulation. Meanwhile, the Indian government too, has taken note of the demand, and has decided to undertake a stock-taking exercise for the drug in case of a sudden jump in export demand, besides procuring it for Jan Aushadhi stores. However, so far there has not been any significant jump in demand for the over the counter (OTC) drug in the domestic market. "Famotidine may become the next hydroxychloroquine. It is also a cheap drug, costing about 40 paise per tablet. However, the findings of the studies are yet to come, so it is too early to comment on the efficacy," said Dinesh Dua, chairman of the Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council of India. Since famotidine is an old generation anti-acid, the safety profile of the drug is established. The US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) has added famotidine in its drug shortages list. The shortages have come in the last one month. Researchers at Northwell Health in New York are testing the effects of famotidine (used in high intreavenous doses) on patients as a potential treatment. The drug shortages surfaced after the hospital announced its clinical trials. In the US, the drug sells under the Pepcid brand.

Bitter medicine: COVID-19 has exposed pitfalls of Indian pharma’s over-dependence on Chinese API
Financial Express

Recently, India lifted the export ban on 24 pharma ingredients and drugs in a move to alleviate shortages in the countries severely affected by Covid-19. It had imposed an export ban on 26 pharma products and medical devices in March. Despite being a $50 bn industry in 2020, the corona-crisis has highlighted fragilities. A key reason for the ban was the anticipated supply disruption in API, or bulk drugs. With the non-availability of the critical input and the lack of domestic capability to fill in the demand, the expectation was a fall in production of drug formulations. This underlines the need to examine the issue, and propose a post Covid-19 action plan. Maintaining the high growth trajectory of the pharma industry is a challenge due to the discontinuity in growth drivers. The consumer market is no longer captive, with rising healthcare spending and patient awareness, expanding insurance coverage, and the emergence of new hospital formats. Industry structure, too, has changed with enhanced medical infrastructure, accelerated innovation, and new entrants. With these developments in the domestic market, India not only catered for the expanding domestic market but also for the global market. India is the largest supplier of cost-effective generic drugs to developed countries. However, for sustaining this demand, the foreseeable challenges are as follows. First, with a number of drugs going off-patent, the demand for cost-effective generic manufacturing will rise exponentially. As such, global pharmaceutical players/innovators will be looking for outsourcing the manufacturing to manage costs for which India would emerge as a major hub. The expected rise in this segment is above 50%. And, second, the growth of exports of formulations is likely to be high at 14-16%, given the loss of patent protection and exposure to generic competition. As such, to meet the projected market growth, the scaling up of the domestic industry is necessary. The potential for scaling up will largely fall in the domain of patented products, consumer healthcare, biologics, vaccines, and public health. It is in this context that R&D would be vital for pharma industry. The R&D cost per molecule has increased significantly due to technological complexity in drug development and greater specificity in diseases targets. Encouraging private investment in R&D necessitates appropriate incentives.

Indian Doctor Becomes A Billionaire Amid Coronavirus Effort
Forbes- Anu Raghunathan

Medical doctor Arvind Lal, who chairs Dr Lal PathLabs, saw his fortune cross the $1 billion mark on Wednesday thanks to a boost in the shares of his India-listed diagnostics chain. Dr Lal PathLabs provides 5,000 pathology and radiology tests, including COVID-19 tests since it received regulatory approval to do so in the last week of March—around the time when India was put under a nationwide lockdown. Before then, COVID-19 tests were done only by government labs and hospitals, but as the number of positive cases surged, the government roped in private labs as well. As of Thursday, India had reported more than 52,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and over 1,700 deaths. The Dr Lal chain, which had revenues of $174 million in fiscal 2019, is one of the largest diagnostic networks in India, with more than 200 clinical labs, 2,500 patient service centers and nearly 6,500 sample pick-up points. Currently, it’s conducting more than 4,500 COVID-19 tests per day across its labs in New Delhi in northern India, where the company is headquartered, as well as Kolkata and Indore, in eastern and central India, respectively. Samples are collected from ten states and the labs conduct real-time reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests, which require nasal and throat swabs and can produce a result in 24 hours. It is looking to operate another temporary lab for COVID-19 detection in Delhi through an agreement with the Indian government’s Council of Scientific and Industrial Research.

Family members of coronavirus patients in Mumbai struggling to get tested for infection
India Today- Vidya

Many families with novel coronavirus positive patients are spending anxious moments quarantined at home. Some share public washrooms with the entire community while others living in small houses are somehow trying to manage home isolation. 22-year-old Priyanka lives with her family at Suhagam Singh Chawal, Gaon Devi at Vakola pipeline, Santacruz East. She lost her father, 55-year-old Babban Rai on May 6. He worked as a cleaner at a Doctor's clinic in Santacruz West. He had a fever and was taken to Bhabha hospital by relatives on May 3. On May 5, his samples returned positive for Covid-19 and he succumbed to the infection on May 6. "We were telling papa that he should get himself tested. A policeman had been to the clinic where papa worked and he had tested positive. My father had a fever for many days. We told him to go to a municipal hospital but he kept saying that the Doctor at his clinic is giving him medicine for fever and has told him that it is only a viral. So he did not go. Then on Sunday his condition deteriorated so we took him to the hospital. But he passed away on Wednesday," an inconsolable Priyanka told India Today. 'Stood in line day my father passed away' Priyanka also shed light on the procedure for family members of Covid-19 patients. She said, "Even on the day papa passed away, we stood in line for tests at the hospital for 3-4 hours. BMC doctors at Bhabha told us that they do not have space to quarantine us so they will not check us. They asked us to go to Kasturba or Nair hospital. But neither did they give us an ambulance nor any other vehicle. So we came home."