Editor in Chief Dr KK Aggarwal, Padma Shri Awardee                                                                            Dated:8th September,2019

Stronger focus on nutrition within health services could save 3.7 million lives by 2025
Health services must integrate a stronger focus on ensuring optimum nutrition at each stage of a person’s life, according to a new report “Essential Nutrition Actions: mainstreaming nutrition throughout the life course” released by the World Health Organization (WHO). It is estimated that the right investment in nutrition could save 3.7 million lives by 2025.

“In order to provide quality health services and achieve Universal Health Coverage, nutrition should be positioned as one of the cornerstones of essential health packages,” said Dr Naoko Yamamoto, Assistant Director-General at WHO. “We also need better food environments which allow all people to consume healthy diets.” Essential health packages in all settings need to contain robust nutrition components but countries will need to decide which interventions best support their national health policies, strategies and plans.

Key interventions include:providing iron and folic acid supplements as part of antenatal care; delaying umbilical cord clamping to ensure babies receive important nutrients they need after birth; promoting, protecting and supporting breastfeeding; providing advice on diet such as limiting the intake of free sugars in adults and children and limiting salt intake to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

ENDS cannot be defined as “drugs” as under section 3(b) of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act
There have been various newspaper reports that the Health Ministry is considering classifying electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) as “drug” to justify its order to ban their manufacture, sale and import in India.

If the Government is proposing to do so, it would be taking a stand opposite to its earlier position that ENDS are not a drug.

In 2015, the Drug Consultative Committee (DCC) had conclusively held that “e-cigarettes are not covered under the definition of the term ‘drug’ and therefore do not come under the purview of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940. E-Cigarettes therefore cannot be regulated under the provisions of the said Act”. But strangely, the DCC changed its opinion and now (in 2019) holds that ENDS are ‘Drug’ items as per the definition of ‘Drugs’ provided in the Drugs and Cosmetic Act, 1940 and, therefore, can be regulated by the authorities under this Act. ....read more

Mera Bharat Mahan 24: Types of students
The Bhagavad Gita (7.16) has described four types of devotees.

“catur-vidhabhajante mam
janahsukrtino 'rjuna
jnani ca bharatarsabha”

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Mindfulness meditation
  Sit on a straight-backed chair or cross-legged on the floor.
  Focus on an aspect of your breathing, such as the sensation of air flowing into your nostrils and out of your mouth, or your    belly rising and falling as you inhale and exhale.
  Once you've narrowed your concentration in this way, begin to widen your focus. Become aware of sounds, sensations, and      ideas. ....read more

Healthcare News Monitor

Govt. launches campaign to promote ‘eat right movement’
The Hindu

‘Crucial measure to trigger social and behavioural change’ - “It’s time for India to eat right,” said Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday, kick-starting POSHAN Maah 2019 with a year-long social and mass media campaign on the Eat Right India movement. Leading with a tweet-a-day focusing on a weekly theme of eating right for the next 365 days, Dr. Vardhan also launched the new Eat Right India logo that represents a healthy plate, an online eat right quiz and online course for frontline health workers. Preventive health - Stating that the country is in need of a movement on preventive health for all in the backdrop of the increasing burden of non-communicable diseases including diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases, widespread deficiencies of vitamins and minerals and rampant food-borne illnesses, Dr. Vardhan said: “The Eat Right India movement is a crucial preventive healthcare measure to trigger social and behavioural change through a judicious mix of regulatory measures, combined with soft interventions for ensuring awareness and capacity building of food businesses and citizens alike.”

Fast track trail ordered into death of doctor assaulted by tea estate workers

The Assam Government on Wednesday said that it has decided to fast track the trial into the merciless killing of Deven Dutta, a doctor at the Teok Tea Garden in Jorhat district last week. Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal also said that the state government has also instituted an inquiry in this regard. He said Commissioner and Finance Secretary Shyam Jagannathan had been asked to carry out the inquiry regarding the killing. Sonowal also had a telephonic conversation with the widow of slain doctor and assured that strict action will be initiated against those who took law in their hands. Meanwhile, a delegation of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) visited Datta's house on Wednesday and slammed the role of the Chief Minister and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma for failing to come out with a statement regarding the brutal killing of the doctor on duty.

India a leading user of digital health technology: Report
Yahoo News - Gayatri Vinayak

India is among the leading countries to have embraced digital technology in healthcare, as per a 15-country Future Health Index (FHI) 2019 report released by Royal Philips, a health technology company. India, along with China and Saudi Arabia are countries where respondents are more likely to take action related to their health as a result of tracking their health indicators using digital technology, cementing how digital technology is increasingly paying an active role in enhancing healthcare. According to the report, the usage of technology and two sharing of data is essential not only for delivering the right care in time, but also to enhance the patient-clinician experience. However, healthcare professionals are not prepared enough to use digital technology and data while they are training for clinical practice. However, emerging countries, as per the report, are more likely to track health indicators using digital health technology and via mobile health apps, take action and contact their healthcare professionals based on the same. Proactive usage of technology - In India, 88 percent of healthcare professionals in the country use digital health technology or mobile health apps - a much higher figure than the global average of 78 percent. At 46 percent, India also meets the 15 country average when it comes to usage of adaptive intelligence (AI), as well.

BT Buzz: Healthy Q1 results but challenges galore for Indian pharma
Business Today- E Kumar Sharma

Most leading pharma companies such as Sun Pharma, Dr Reddy's, Lupin, Cipla, Biocon and Aurobindo Pharma concluded the June quarter on a positive note. In many cases, the results surprised the markets against expectations. The common link running across company results was a better showing in the US market, partly driven by lower expenses (Sun Pharma and Dr Reddy's) and stronger growth in markets outside the US (Dr Reddy's). Analysts point out that lower expenses were largely driven by reduced R&D spending in the quarter, which is expected to increase over the next quarters. Better results were also on account of improved growth in the Indian market. However, one of the reasons for better growth in the domestic market was the low base. The sector had seen periods of negative growth post the introduction of goods and services tax. Even now, many domestic pharma companies complain of an environment that does not enable new investments as focus is more on reducing drug prices. Some industry players, who declined to be identified, pointed out that their distributors have started reducing inventory from about 40 days earlier to around 25 days today, which is hurting pharma sales.

Pharma cos increasingly to focus on stability studies as norms from US FDA, WHO and D&C Rules mandate product safety info
Pharmabiz India– Nandita Vijay

Indian pharma companies now need to increasingly focus on stability studies to prove the safety of formulation till the end of the shelf life. The industry already has three regulations to adhere: Drugs & Cosmetic Rules, US FDA and WHO stability testing guidelines for API, finished drugs and the ICH norms on the same. The purpose of the stability testing is to provide evidence on how the quality of a drug substance or drug product varies with time under the influence of a variety of environmental factors such as temperature, humidity and light. It also calls for storage conditions, retest periods and shelf life of the products, said B Kumar, deputy drugs controller, sub-zonal office, CDSCO, Bengaluru. In order to ensure that the drug formulations marketed in the country are stable till the end of the shelf life, it is necessary that stability studies should be brought under the condition of license for manufacturing drugs especially in Rule 71, 71-B & Rule 76, he added. Delving on the submission of data for a stability study at the recently concluded seminar organised jointly by the Karnataka drugs control department and the KDPMA, Kumar said these are based on the written and approved stability protocol and not merely based on standard operating procedures. These are generally carried out at quality control laboratories. With regards to the revised guidance of the D&C Rules, regulatory requirements of stability studies issued on April 10, 2018, mandates the applicants to submit evidence of stability, safety of excipients among others to the State Licensing Authority before grant of product manufacturing license for any product. Schedule M requires the manufacturers to conduct the stability study to ensure stability of the manufactured products too, he said.